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Old January 12th, 2016, 01:07 AM   #14121
Eulanthe
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Would this be the old Spanish border post?

https://www.google.es/maps/@43.29072...7i13312!8i6656

It's quite amazing how quickly the border has become meaningless in areas with the same currency and within the EU and Schengen. Yet within more or less the same timeframe, some divided ex-YU towns now see far stronger controls.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 02:31 AM   #14122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
The strange and remarkable thing to me about the USA/Canada border is that they don't have exit controls and that they have separate border stations, even at borders that have very light traffic.

You would think by now that they would suss out that working together from one large border station makes more sense in many smaller areas. There's a great example I've found - Estcourt Station - Pohénégamook Border Crossing (US/CA)

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.4563...7i13312!8i6656

Canadian Port of Entry

The US border station is further up that road. But...what's this? What's this I found behind the Canadian border?



Oh, a petrol station? That's nothing special...but wait, what's this?



It's in the United States...?

From what I've read online, if you visit the petrol station, you need to drive onwards up to the US border crossing, report there, then turn round back into Canada, then cross back into the United States to actually buy fuel, then turn round back into Canada and report immediately to the Canadian Port of Entry. Madness, and a single building to cater for both Canadian and American controls would make far more sense in such a place.
What would happen if you simply used the gas station and swung back round and went into Canada?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 02:41 AM   #14123
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Arrested by US Border Patrol and given a stern lecture
Probably before you even get the gas cap undone
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Old January 12th, 2016, 05:48 AM   #14124
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if only...

http://articles.latimes.com/2003/feb...adna-mborder16

Hard to tell, but from different articles online, it looks the US border crossing is here -

http://www.openstreetmap.org/search?...5519/-69.22771

To the west of the petrol station - it must be one of the two buildings on American territory, though it also seems that the border crossing exists solely because of the petrol station, which is surreal. I'll try calling the border station tomorrow and see if the person in duty will answer some questions.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 10:44 AM   #14125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Would this be the old Spanish border post?

https://www.google.es/maps/@43.29072...7i13312!8i6656

It's quite amazing how quickly the border has become meaningless in areas with the same currency and within the EU and Schengen. Yet within more or less the same timeframe, some divided ex-YU towns now see far stronger controls.
I do not know... today it is a police station. Seems to be very big compared big former French customs.

By the way, have glanced the area and... Spain is different. Just before the border there is a roundabout with two directions into France. Both of them have no other indication that... pointing "France". That's all.

Previous traffic sign talks about name of hotels and shops in the area


It is really different, I know...
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Old January 12th, 2016, 08:16 PM   #14126
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Arrested by US Border Patrol and given a stern lecture
Probably before you even get the gas cap undone
Where exactly is the US CBP post? I can't seem to spot it on OSM or Google Maps.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 08:36 PM   #14127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
Arrested by US Border Patrol and given a stern lecture
Probably before you even get the gas cap undone
But where is the US Border Patrol? They can't touch you when you're in Canada, and for them to reach that gas station they have to go through Canada?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 09:06 PM   #14128
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They probably have ATVs and come cross country?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 11:18 PM   #14129
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Sorry about the darkness, though that probably helps making the point.

This is road 70 in Idre, Sweden, 35 km before the Norwegian border.



When going to Røros, turn left here... unless you are transporting stuff, in which case turn right to the parking area and report to the customs. Failure to do so and continuing to the border may make a crime.

See the white sign in the picture? It's the only sign of any authority you'll ever see on this road. If there is a random check on the Norwegian side, it's already too late to explain if you failed to report here.

Last edited by OulaL; January 12th, 2016 at 11:26 PM.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 11:21 PM   #14130
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But where is the US Border Patrol? They can't touch you when you're in Canada, and for them to reach that gas station they have to go through Canada?
The border post is just to the west of the gas station, located to the side of the Canadian frontier road (but in US territory) - I think. The strangest thing is that after clearing the US control, you need to go back into Canada to access US territory - that must be pretty unique in the world. There's a similar petrol station in Metkovic, Croatia - but as far as I know, there's no obligation to report to Bosnian and Croatian police before using it.

What they do is come in through the back roads - there are logging roads that allow you to reach the gas station through the woods, although it appears to be a lengthy journey to get to that point.

The interesting question is how fuel gets delivered to that gas station...
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Old January 12th, 2016, 11:23 PM   #14131
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Continuing from my post above:

The white sign is not very clear, but that's what you get in the real place anyway when driving in the darkness. It says "Tull Customs Svensk-Norsk tullklarering". However, the prominent thing in the sign is that it points to a parking area. If you are not particularly searching for a parking area, you may simply skip the rest of the sign entirely.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 11:41 PM   #14132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
The border post is just to the west of the gas station, located to the side of the Canadian frontier road (but in US territory) - I think. The strangest thing is that after clearing the US control, you need to go back into Canada to access US territory - that must be pretty unique in the world. There's a similar petrol station in Metkovic, Croatia - but as far as I know, there's no obligation to report to Bosnian and Croatian police before using it.

What they do is come in through the back roads - there are logging roads that allow you to reach the gas station through the woods, although it appears to be a lengthy journey to get to that point.

The interesting question is how fuel gets delivered to that gas station...
Probably through transit papers - the same they would use when transporting goods from mainland USA to Alaska via Canada...
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Old January 13th, 2016, 01:32 AM   #14133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
The interesting question is how fuel gets delivered to that gas station...
From truck from Quebec
There are big refineries in the Levis area (south shore of Quebec city)
The truck sees the border station for paperwork, then backs up...
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Last edited by Kanadzie; January 13th, 2016 at 01:41 AM.
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Old January 13th, 2016, 03:59 AM   #14134
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That's a huge difference between Europe and US/CA - here, not all border crossings would be equipped to deal with such imports. A lot of smaller crossings (particularly between HR/BiH - but pre-Schengen was also the same) are only for passengers and their baggage - there's no possibility of commercial imports at those crossings.

OulaL - I think that actually, it's not as you say. Swedish Customs say that the customs station there is only open by appointment, and there's no possibility of making a customs declaration on that border by just driving up and declaring what you have. If you look on Street View, you can see that there's no infrastructure connected with making any declaration - unlike on other Norwegian border crossings. Wikipedia says that some crossings were closed after the Nordic countries joined Schengen, so maybe this was one of them?

https://www.google.com/maps/@61.8713...7i13312!8i6656 - here's the actual border - and as you can see, clearly infrastructure did exist at one time but no longer.

Normal Swedish-Norwegian border crossings look like this -

Norwegian

https://www.google.com/maps/@59.4874...7i13312!8i6656

Swedish

https://www.google.com/maps/@63.3177...8i6656!6m1!1e1

The Idre crossing is not a normal crossing approved for taking goods in excess of the duty-free limits, so that's why there isn't any infrastructure there. It's actually a bit stupid that Sweden and Norway don't make it clearer - for instance, the Swiss have such signs at all border crossings.

https://www.google.com/maps/@46.1990...7i13312!8i6656

But you would think that in today's world, it would make sense for every Norwegian border crossing with Finland and Sweden to be equipped with videophones so that people can make declarations rather than forcing them to make appointments or drive a hell of a long way round just to make a declaration.
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Old January 13th, 2016, 04:55 AM   #14135
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I find that a kind of weird thing.
It's true that major border crossings (e.g. motorways, major roads) have a whole dedicated commercial import / export control office and specific infrastructure for trucks to cross (e.g. inspection window is higher)

I think if you tried to cross a small border with truck you might get a lot of questions, except if you're local traffic.

But ultimately what equipment is needed? Any paperwork form should be there or easily printed...
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Old January 13th, 2016, 08:13 AM   #14136
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Røros and Mora are 310 km apart and signposted from each other (via Idre). There's no sign whatsoever warning about the customs policy, nor are there any restrictions on trucks.

Not only that, this is also one of the shortest (though certainly not fastest) routes between Stockholm and Trondheim.

I just did a delivery to Trondheim, though I entered via Storlien (E14) and declared there (no problems); and exited via Idre (without cargo) so no harm done. I just wonder if many others make a mistake here.
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Old January 13th, 2016, 10:40 AM   #14137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OulaL View Post
Sorry about the darkness, though that probably helps making the point.

This is road 70 in Idre, Sweden, 35 km before the Norwegian border.

When going to Røros, turn left here... unless you are transporting stuff, in which case turn right to the parking area and report to the customs. Failure to do so and continuing to the border may make a crime.

See the white sign in the picture? It's the only sign of any authority you'll ever see on this road. If there is a random check on the Norwegian side, it's already too late to explain if you failed to report here.
What is your problem here?

It is the transport operator's responsibility to get the goods to be declared, and to find out when and where this can happen. In the Schengen area where the border crossed anywhere, it is not possible to have a customs office at every border crossing point.

The international cargo is rather a complex playground from the paperwork point of view. The customs operations are not necessarily performed at the borders. In fact, they are not necessarily performed at customs offices at all, but over the web.

The commercial transport between Norway and the EU is handled by T1 transit documents. The T1 is opened by the customs at the country of departure, and it entitles to move the goods to the customs of the destination country without ceremonies at the borders.
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Old January 13th, 2016, 03:49 PM   #14138
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What is your problem here?

It is the transport operator's responsibility to get the goods to be declared, and to find out when and where this can happen. In the Schengen area where the border crossed anywhere, it is not possible to have a customs office at every border crossing point.
It's not my problem, since I actually did find this out in advance (and chose my route accordingly). But it might be someone else's.

I agree on the first part, but not the second. Yes, anyone operating a transport business should know that goods imported to Norway must be declared - but not necessarily where. That's what signs are for. If the customs is not at the border, it is not too much to ask for a sign at least telling where it is.

FIN-N border is better; for instance when leaving E6 towards Polmak/Nuorgam there is a sign telling the opening hours for the customs post.

Also, not everyone is a professional. There may even be tourists who have stuff in excess. Theoretically, there may even be Swedes driving around for fun and not knowing that Röros is in Norway, when spelled with a Swedish ö. It's not that unusual over the world to put up signs when you're about to exit a country. Especially when crossing the border would break a law.
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Old January 13th, 2016, 11:11 PM   #14139
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You're right. It's absolutely stupid that there is nothing to warn you that you're crossing a Customs barrier at non-manned borders. When you compare it to how the situation looks around the Swiss border, you can really see that it's not acceptable to be able to cross the border without any warning.

While it's obviously the obligation of the importer to be familiar with the rules, there should still be some sort of possibility to make a declaration - even if it's just a verbal declaration by phone so that they can decide whether or not you should be instructed to go to a manned crossing to complete the formalities.

https://www.google.com/maps/@67.3113...8i6656!6m1!1e1

This is a curious example from the S/FIN border - the crossing is obviously abandoned since 1995, yet the sign warning you of the Customs line is still there. The other signs instructing you to make a declaration (which seem to be a standard Nordic thing...) have been removed at that location, however.

Another example here - https://www.google.com/maps/@66.8006...8i6656!6m1!1e1 - one of the signs is still intact, even though the crossing is clearly mostly abandoned.

Where this crossing gets really strange is that the traffic signals appear to be still in use - you can see the green lights are still switched on, and this rotating sign doesn't appear to be that old.

https://www.google.com/maps/@66.8004...8i6656!6m1!1e1

I wonder if random controls still happen here using the infrastructure?
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Old January 14th, 2016, 09:24 PM   #14140
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Originally Posted by OulaL View Post
It's not my problem, since I actually did find this out in advance (and chose my route accordingly). But it might be someone else's.

I agree on the first part, but not the second. Yes, anyone operating a transport business should know that goods imported to Norway must be declared - but not necessarily where. That's what signs are for. If the customs is not at the border, it is not too much to ask for a sign at least telling where it is.

FIN-N border is better; for instance when leaving E6 towards Polmak/Nuorgam there is a sign telling the opening hours for the customs post.

Also, not everyone is a professional. There may even be tourists who have stuff in excess. Theoretically, there may even be Swedes driving around for fun and not knowing that Röros is in Norway, when spelled with a Swedish ö. It's not that unusual over the world to put up signs when you're about to exit a country. Especially when crossing the border would break a law.
I would leave some responsibility to the individuals, too.

For example, there is a customs line inside Finland: The regional border of Ahvenanmaa and the mainland Finland. On the roads Hummelvik-Kustavi and Hummelvik-Korppoo, there are absolutely no indication on this border, and no customs offices. Still, if you have something to declare, you must find out how to manage.

Only a few customs offices at the Swedish/Norwegian border are open 24h. It is because they are not any more for random tourists but mainly for professional transport.

The basic idea of Schengen is simple: Crossing the borders is easy, but anyone crossing the borders must know the rules.
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