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Boreal Community Media

U.S. Customs and Border Protection expands ROAM border crossing app

Dec 08, 2018 03:33PM ● By Editor
Jay Tomczak of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Warroad, Minn., walks Lake of the Woods Tourism Director Joe Henry through the process of entering the U.S. on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, using the new iPad ROAM remote border crossing technology. First available on Minnesota's Northwest Angle in August 2017, ROAM has now been expanded to other sites along U.S.-Canada border waters, CBP said Thursday, Dec. 6. Photo:  Brad Dokken / Forum News Service

By Brad Dokken of the Forum News Service - December 7, 2018

GRAND FORKS -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Thursday, Dec. 6, said its Office of Field Operations has expanded the ability for snowmobilers on remote border waters to report their arrival to CBP using the new Reporting Offsite Arrival-Mobile (ROAM) application at select locations hosting CBP tablets preloaded with the ROAM app. 

The ROAM app addresses a pressing issue for frozen border waters that depend heavily on tourism. Snowmobilers and outdoor enthusiasts travel to these areas to enjoy fishing, snowmobiling and other winter activities. These groups often travel into the adjoining provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, which prompts border security checks by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon return. 

The ROAM app gives snowmobilers traveling border waters the flexibility of reporting their arrival into the U.S. from CBP tablets located at resorts and marinas throughout the area. 

Before CBP ROAM, travelers would have to report to U.S. Customs and Border Protection at one of four Outlying Area Reporting Stations (OARS) located at the Northwest Angle and International Falls, Minn., or report in person to the Baudette (Minn.) Port of Entry. 

With weather conditions in the winter constantly changing, CBP recognized the need to provide additional reporting locations. The Northwest Angle was the first area to offer the ROAM reporting capability, which went online in August 2017.

“The ROAM app enhances border security while providing additional locations for recreationalists to report their arrival when weather conditions deteriorate,” Area Port Director Jason Schmelz said in a statement. “From the clarity of the video to the ease of use for the traveler, ROAM has strengthened border security in these remote areas while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”

IPads loaded with the ROAM app are set up at the following locations:

  • Northwest Angle: Jim’s Corner, Carlson’s Landing, Young’s Bay, Jerry’s Bar and Restaurant, Angle Outpost, Jake’s Northwest Angle, Sage’s Angle West, Flag Island Resort, Angle Inn Lodge, Sunset Lodge, Sportsman’s Oak Island. (Additionally, at the Northwest Angle, travelers can use their own personal device to report their arrival if they have the CBP ROAM app downloaded to their device.)

  • Baudette, Minn: Sportsman’s Lodge, Ballard’s Resort.

  • International Falls, Minn. (Rainy Lake): Rainy Lake Houseboats, Loony’s Brew, Thunderbird Lodge.

  • Crane Lake, Minn: Voyageur Lodge, Handberg’s Marine, Scott’s Resort Sea Plane Base. Also, at Crane Lake, travelers can use their own personal device to report their arrival if they have the CBP ROAM app downloaded to their device. 

  • Lake Kabetogama, Minn.: Rocky Ledge Resort.

  • Ash River, Minn.: Ash Ka Nam Resort.

Additionally, travelers can report in person at the Baudette Port of Entry when crossing Lake of the Woods or Rainy River.

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here