The U.S. Customs entry station at Crane Lake, popular with float plane pilots and boaters crossing the border from Ontario into Minnesota, will permanently close next week, leaving only electronic options for cross-border arrivals.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection made the announcement Friday although the plan has been in the works for months. The Crane Lake customs office will close for good at 6 p.m. Nov. 10.
Anyone wishing to enter the U.S. at Crane Lake will have to do so by checking-in electronically on their smartphone using the Reporting Offsite Arrival-Mobile (ROAM) app or using iPads available at local businesses, including Scott's Seaplane Base, Anderson's Canoe Outfitters and Voyagaire Houseboats.
The app allows remote Customs and Border Protection inspections for people crossing by plane, boat or snowmobiles arriving into the U.S. at remote areas without a Customs office. The app is free to download and use.
The electronic remote reporting system has been available as a pilot project since 2017 and is the same as the system used in Minnesota's Northwest Angle for people crossing the international border by water, ice or air on Lake of the Woods.
The Canadian customs office on Sand Point Lake near Crane Lake is expected to stay open seasonally, from May through October.
More information is available at www.cbp.gov.