Gov. Doug Burgum today welcomed a decision by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to temporarily expand operating hours at three ports of entry on the U.S.-Canada border in North Dakota.
Burgum has been pushing CBP and Homeland Security since April to restore pre-pandemic hours of operation at several ports of entry on the U.S.-Canada border where hours were reduced in April 2020. The governor met with CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus in June and reiterated the request to restore crossing hours on the border in a letter sent in July to Magnus and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Operating hours at the Maida, Northgate and Sherwood ports of entry will be temporarily expanded by two hours, to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., pending agreement from the Canada Border Services Agency, according to a letter from CBP to U.S. Sen. John Hoeven. The expanded hours will be evaluated after 120 days, CBP stated.
“The reduction in hours of operation on North Dakota’s 310-mile border with Canada has caused significant hardship on the movement of citizens, goods and tourists between our two nations,” Burgum said. “We appreciate this temporary expansion of hours at three ports of entry and will continue to urge CBP and Homeland Security to restore pre-pandemic hours at all ports of entry to ensure the secure and steady flow of people, goods and services between North Dakota and our northern neighbors and friends.”
Burgum had previously sent a letter to Magnus and Mayorkas in late April, in which Burgum noted that of the 10 U.S. ports of entry into North Dakota where hours were reduced, nine of the reductions ranged from four hours to six hours. The letter came after CBP informed the state Tourism Division it had no plans to change the hours at any ports of entry in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Idaho or Washington.