Campobello Island Mail Interception
Domestic mail travelling to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, passes through the United States and is subject to being opened and examined by United States Customs and Border Protection.
- Canada Post is proud to serve the residents of Campobello Island.
- Mail and parcels are transported to the island by vehicle and the one available transport route requires the mail to briefly pass through Maine before reaching the Island.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection has the right to stop and search any vehicle at their discretion and detain or seize any item which they deem to be inadmissible.
- Canada Post will continue to work with its counterparts in U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure timely, reliable and safe mail delivery.
If pressed on the legality of search and seizure
- Canada Post respects the rights and legal responsibilities of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and is focused on providing residents with reliable postal service.
- Canada Post will continue to monitor its approach.
Campobello, a small Canadian island on the southwestern tip of New Brunswick, is only accessible year-round by bridge from the U.S. state of Maine.
When recreational cannabis was legalized in October 2018, Canada Post worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to develop a process to “seal” the truck. A special label ensures the trucks remain sealed until they reach Campobello, or are opened by a CBP official. This is a common practice when transporting mail that has not yet been cleared by customs authorities and prevents mail from being tampered with. Canada Post has worked with USCBP to attempt to reduce examinations of mail transiting the United States; however, they have a right to conduct random searches.
A CBP officer's border search authority is derived from federal statutes and regulations, including 19 C.F.R. 162.6, which states that,
"All persons, baggage and merchandise arriving in the Customs territory of the United States from places outside thereof are liable to inspection by a CBP officer." Unless exempt by diplomatic status, all persons entering the United States, including U.S. citizens, are subject to examination and search by CBP officers.
Canada Post is now seeing its vehicle stopped regularly and packages seized.
In October 2019, Canada Post sent a letter to licensed cannabis producers, asking for their cooperation to end shipments of cannabis through Canada Post to Campobello Island in an effort to curb lawful searches by CBP.
Canada Post continues to work with its counterparts in CBP to ensure timely and reliable mail service.
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