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Old August 3rd, 2010, 02:43 PM   #3361
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurK View Post
As an European, I was surprised by the intensive border checks between the USA and Canada. I once crossed the border by train enroute from New York City to Montreal. First it was stopped in the middle of nowhere at a siding on the US-side of the border, with checks by US Border Police. Then they moved a few kilometers further to another siding where Canadian Border Police entered the train and checked everybody. Those inspections can take an hour. Unbelievable between two allied countries, especially if you notice Canada has only landborders with the USA.
Different policies in North America. Particularly, they regard international trains like airplanes. Cars travelling into Canada are usually not checked by US CBP (Customs and Border Protection).

Therefore, foreigners arriving in US by air and leaving US territory by land should take extra precautions! On airports, airlines take your I-94 card (the form you fill in to enter US by airport, regardless of on a visa (white form) or through the VWP (Visa Wavier Program - green form).

Visitors exiting US by air have their exist information updated through their airlines' passenger records (who also collect the forms). However, those exiting by land have to handle their I-94 forms to CANADIAN customs officers (in case of travelling to Mexico, US officers will collect the forms), who then forward the cards to their US counterparts.

The question is that many times Canadian officers don't handle those cards properly, or forget to ask for them (and passengers forget to handle), so you can be listed as an overstayer. I have an acquaintance of mine who spent 3 hours in secondary inspection after he had, one year earlier, entered Canada exiting US from a secondary border post in North Dakota. Last year I also chatted with a Swiss guy who has been delayed at Denver airport after having exited US in Maine by car 2 or 3 years earlier. In both cases, officers wanted to clarify why they haven't handled information on their exit and so, and in the last case (the Swiss exiting from Maine) he told me that CBP told him they could find a register of his enter in Canada on a "non-integrated" database. Both were allowed into US.

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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I have crossed the US/Canada border many times (only by car) and never been checked by the country I was leaving. Didn't even know that there were outbound customs facilities, if you can call it that - just posts for the country you're entering. Before 9/11 it was pretty relaxed, and until about 2005 Americans and Canadians didn't need passports to cross.
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Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
It is amazing how processes on US - Canada border go quite opposite to Europe.
Europe try to make life of people in border areas easier while especially USA try to complicate it as much as possible.
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If Canada had though visa and immigration requirements, particular a strong record of denying people entry for the same reasons, they should make it less stringent. Still, because NAFTA is not a customs union like the UE, let alone a free movement area like Schengen (think of Mexicans crossing illegally into US), they can't just think of abolishing border controls. Different realities, different remedies.

The US has the most rigid criteria for admission among developed countries, save for Japan. Until a few months ago, people who were HIV+ needed (rarely granted) waivers to entry the country. Professional prostitutes, no matter how legalized the activity might be in their origin countries, are barred for applying for any visa or entry.

Then, you have sharply distinct policies like how/whether to let Cubans, Iranians and other people from "countries that sponsor terrorism" enter.

There are a lot of other issues, like merchandise that cost a lot more in US than in Canada (booze, cigarettes and, especially, prescription drugs come to mind). Even illegal online commerce of (waaay) cheaper Canadian prescriptions to US is an issue, damaging potential revenues of US pharma by more than 2 bln. annually (high-end prescriptions usually cost 2, 3 times more in US than in Canada where government interferes in pricing practices of pharma companies).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post
No they wouldn't. All they would have to do is have Canada and the US have similar outside border controls. Create an agreement for that, and maybe at internal land crossings have express lanes for just citizens of Canada and the US. One reason this would never happen though, is because of US gun laws.
Exactly. I don't think Canada want people bringing tons of guns into Canada from US, as in many states it is damn easy to buy normal guns.

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Originally Posted by Alex Trst View Post
Even funnier that they are not part of Italy and we in Trieste are.
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Originally Posted by Verso View Post
Perhaps by the vast majority of Italians, but not by Slovenes (and probably others) who constituted a large part of the population. Perhaps Trieste should really have remained independent (although as I've said, it would mean Slovenia without sea).
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Originally Posted by Verso View Post
Italy is a unified country anyway. But how come this unification left out San Marino? (I understand it left out the Vatican City) Is it because the Sammarinese are too proud of being the oldest recorded sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world to join Italy?
Italian irredentism has a long history, going further back than Garibaldi and his associates. By mid-18th Century, there has been for two centuries or more a history of Italian (whatever you prefer to call pre-unification states/duchies/principalities) settlements on the "other" side of the Adriatic Sea. Indeed, Trieste hasn't even been the "end" of the most Italianized regions of the Peninsula, but after WWII Yugoslavia expelled all people from Italian ancestry back into Trieste.

But that is another discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikespiegel View Post
Norway is part of Schengen. Norway had been part of the Nordic Passport Union years before Schengen was even discussed, and if Norway weren't to adopt Schengen, they and Sweden would have to build a shitload of border checks all the way through the Scandinavian peninsula.
Looking historically, I found a greater oddity that Finland joined EU and Norway didn't.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:13 PM   #3362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Looking historically, I found a greater oddity that Finland joined EU and Norway didn't.
They refused it several times by referenda. A friend of mine wrote his PhD by the topic of Norway and the EU regerding the referenda. :-)
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 07:27 PM   #3363
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Norwegian – Finish border Road 93 Kautokeino (N) -Enontekio (FIN)






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Old August 3rd, 2010, 08:52 PM   #3364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varzuga View Post
Norwegian – Finish border Road 93 Kautokeino (N) -Enontekio (FIN)

Nice pictures! I especially like that it is road 93 on both sides of the border.

Btw, 48 on that license plate, that's Lipetsk Oblast right? Quite a drive from Enontekio
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 08:55 PM   #3365
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That Nissan Teana is also not sold in Europe outside of Russia.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 05:45 AM   #3366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
after WWII Yugoslavia expelled all people from Italian ancestry back into Trieste.
Not from historically Italian lands (coast), "just" from inland. Istrian coast is still bilingual (but not further south, that's true).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varzuga View Post
It's nice that they also write Finland in Sami language (Suopma). It happens rarely that countries are written in all official languages of the area such a sign stands in, usually just in the official language of the whole country. For example, you don't see 'Slovenia' in the Italian-speaking part, just 'Slovenija'. Likewise, there's no 'Italija' in the Slovenian-speaking areas, always 'Italia'.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #3367
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This is more a border road and then a border path than a border crossing, however nice place for one day trek. Photos are from the border section between CZ and SK in the Beskydy mountains. The road reaches the turistic point "Bílý kříž" (White Cross) from both countries and lays on the border for few hundereds meters. Further on just a turist trail.

google map link

Pictures:

white stones with S for Slovakia and C for Czech on zick zack on either side of the road.


further on just a turist trail
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Old August 9th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #3368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stainless View Post
I am interesting in different ways you can cross a border. I know there is a line off the Geneva tram system that has a stop in France, does anyone know how that worked pre Schengen? Also are there many bus routes that pass into different countries in Europe? I know there are long distance Eurolines busses but I'm more interested in local routes which enable people to live and work in different countries. Also I have heard it is possible to legally canoe into Belarus, possibly from Poland, anyone know if this is true?

I know there is a german Bus line operation in Hřensko (near Decin), North West of the Czech Republic, that crosses the border from ?? Pirna??

Last edited by Surel; August 9th, 2010 at 04:56 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #3369
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Last week I made some pics of the Polish-Belorussian border crossing from the train I was in. I still have to see which ones I will post and which ones I won't post. Railway border pics aren't as interesting as road border crossing pics of course, as you can't see what's happening in front of you.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #3370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
Railway border pics aren't as interesting as road border crossing pics of course, as you can't see what's happening in front of you.
they are more interesting than Schengen crossings
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #3371
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For a couple seconds I was just imagining (not that I wish for this) what would happen if, say, the Netherlands decide to withdraw from Schengen and needs to puts hundreds of border control posts on its borders. I think they'd then close a lot of crossing to reduce costs, and build some fences in towns that are too close to foreign territory.

We'd see massive jams like in Venlo or near Kerkade.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #3372
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The Benelux customs union entered force in 1948 and was replaced by the Benelux economic union in 1960. I'm not sure whether border controls were already abolished in 1948 or 1960. The Schengen agreement came into force in 1995, including the Netherlands and Germany. I'm not sure when border controls ceased functioning between those two countries, probably 1995, as some early 1990's motorway were still equipped with border facilities (for example: A1 De Lutte-Bad Bentheim and A7 Nieuweschans-Bunde)
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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #3373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
For a couple seconds I was just imagining (not that I wish for this) what would happen if, say, the Netherlands decide to withdraw from Schengen and needs to puts hundreds of border control posts on its borders. I think they'd then close a lot of crossing to reduce costs, and build some fences in towns that are too close to foreign territory.

We'd see massive jams like in Venlo or near Kerkade.
Poor people in Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:16 AM   #3374
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Some pics of the railway crossing of the Polish-Belorussian border near Terespol(PL)/Brest(BY).

1. At the railway station of Terespol. Here the Polish check takes place. They swiped my passport through a machine, stared at me for a couple of seconds like I was a dog and than continued on. We stood at Terespol train station for about 30 minutes.

image hosted on flickr

Terespol train station by Timon91, on Flickr

2. The "Customs control zone" in Terespol.

image hosted on flickr

Terespol train station by Timon91, on Flickr

3. Terespol outskirts. The railway track is well protected here.

image hosted on flickr

Terespol by Timon91, on Flickr

4. Belorussian border marker.

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border marker by Timon91, on Flickr

5. Entering Belarus. Sorry about the reflection in the window, but of course everybody was standing on the corridor to have a look at this border

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border by Timon91, on Flickr

6. Concrete wall with barbed wire next to the railway track.

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border by Timon91, on Flickr

7. Some border buildings next to the railway track.

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border buildings by Timon91, on Flickr

8. A railway station for the border. I was very lucky with this picture. As soon as I made this picture I saw about 20 military people standing on the platform. I was lucky they didn't see my camera Anyway, this is where the Belorussian check takes place. They take your passport, which you get back after about 45 minutes (on the way back 75 minutes). Meanwhile customs officers check everyone's luggage for forbidden goods. Furthermore, there is a weight limit on your luggage when you enter Belarus. You can take up to 35 kg of luggage, but I heard they considered 50 kg still as okay. For every extra kg you have to pay 2 euro/kg.

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border building by Timon91, on Flickr

9. This is on my way back. The check took now place on Brest Central (the main train station). This is the same building as on the previous picture.

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border building by Timon91, on Flickr

10. The camp at the border again.

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border buildings by Timon91, on Flickr

11. Border protection.

image hosted on flickr

Belorussian border by Timon91, on Flickr

12. The real border, the Western Bug.

image hosted on flickr

Polish-Belorussian border river (Western Bug) by Timon91, on Flickr

13. Entering Poland again.

image hosted on flickr

Border area near Terespol by Timon91, on Flickr

14. Terespol railway station again. The check here lasted more than an hour this time, as the Polish customs is very interested in what you take with you from Belarus

image hosted on flickr

Terespol train station by Timon91, on Flickr

That's it, hope you liked it!
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Last edited by Timon91; August 10th, 2010 at 11:23 AM.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #3375
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Are there any pics showing how the borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland appear?
I wonder if there are any kind of control, or it's just a borderless area, like between any EU countries.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #3376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TohrAlkimista View Post
Are there any pics showing how the borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland appear?
I wonder if there are any kind of control, or it's just a borderless area, like between any EU countries.
There are no border controls, not even a sign to acknowledge you have left/entered the UK/ROI. The only way of telling is that speed signs change from mile per hour to km per hour in the south. There is an open border agreement between the countries.Similarly, flying between NI and ROI is like flying within the UK.

A few of many border crossing points:

http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&l...81.15,,0,-2.81

http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&l...12.37,,0,-1.38

http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&l...12,178.15,,0,4

Many smaller roads are very unsuspecting:

http://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&l...292.03,,0,2.94

Last edited by Conor; August 10th, 2010 at 04:38 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #3377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conor View Post
There are no border controls, not even a sign to acknowledge you have left/entered the UK/ROI. The only way of telling is that speed signs change from mile per hour to km per hour in the south. There is an open border agreement between the countries.Similarly, flying between NI and ROI is like flying within the UK.
Thank you!
Now a silly question: you said there is not any sign to know you have crossed UK and ROI, but is there the typical EU sign in ROI, when you just left NI?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #3378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TohrAlkimista View Post
Thank you!
Now a silly question: you said there is not any sign to know you have crossed UK and ROI, but is there the typical EU sign in ROI, when you just left NI?
No problem

And to answer your follow up question, there are not EU signs on either sides of the border, which is quite strange.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #3379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palance View Post
Poor people in Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog
That would be a huge border crossing . And if Spain decides to withdraw Schengen, I imagine half border crossings and a fence in the middle of the road at Perthus (Yep, the E/F border runs on the middle of N-II/D900! BTW, I want N9 back )
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:10 PM   #3380
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I know it is a little bit off topic but you talked a lot about trains and buses so now I put some pictures here:
Regional trains from Bellinzona - Lugano (SUI) to Como (ITA) have a stop at Chiasso which is the border station between the two nations (trains usually do not stop right at the state border but the neighbor countries select a border station, in this case Chiasso is actually in Switzerland).
Passangers must leave the train and follow a yellow line inside the station building.
There is a custom office there for railway passangers. Normally officers do not stop you passing the office but there is a policeman and if someone tries to pass the office having a large bag, s/he will be asked to stop, I suppose.
At the end you arrive to another train, standing at the very same platform, this one goes on and takes you to your destination.
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