Zeitungsartikel
 


The Lethbridge Herald
Sunday A, Sunday, October 12, 2003, p. a3

Dream trip stalls at border

Doerksen, Lisa

U.S. says Germans' truck could be an implement of war

By LISA DOERKSEN

Lethbridge Herald

When they planned their dream trip across North America, German tourists Florian Herb, Sascha Epp and Yan Schmidt thought it would be a great idea to bring their own vehicle.

But after being prohibited from bringing the truck into the U.S., they're not so sure.

The three travellers found themselves stranded in Lethbridge recently when the U.S. government said their truck was an implement of war.

After three weeks of touring Canada, the trio tried to cross into the U.S. at the Coutts/Sweetgrass border crossing earlier this week and were turned away.

Herb said the trio arrived at the border about 10 p.m. and were told by border officials they would have to call Washington to find out if their truck - a 1964 Hanomag - would be allowed into the country. The three returned to the border at 8 a.m. the following day only to be turned away again.

"They said, 'Washington thinks your car is an implement of war,'" said Herb.

The trio may have to apply for a special weapons, ammunition or implements of war permit to bring the truck into the U.S.

A spokesman at the Coutts/Sweetgrass crossing confirmed Friday a permit may indeed be necessary. The issue hinges on whether the vehicle has an enclosed electrical system, which would classify the vehicle as amphibious.

If the vehicle is amphibious, a temporary import permit will be necessary. If not, the men will be able to cross the border immediately.

The spokesman said higher-ups with U.S. immigration and homeland security have committed to expediting the permit application if necessary. However, he couldn't offer a time frame.

Herb said he plans to send pictures of the truck to officials in an effort to further expedite the matter.

However, they aren't sure what they'll do if they can't continue their journey for several weeks.

"We are a bit desperate," he said. "We'll stay till Monday in Lethbridge. I don't know what we can do if it's longer."

But as frustrated as they are, the men said Coutts/Sweetgrass border officials have treated them well.

Herb said Hanomag trucks are commonly used in Germany for border patrols and by fire departments and the Red Cross. To his knowledge, they were never used during wartimes.

The trio bought the vehicle on E-Bay specifically for their trip. It has four-wheel drive and a small kitchen and bunk beds in the back.

Herb said they shipped the vehicle by boat to Halifax, and spent three weeks travelling west through Canada. They plan to visit several tourist destinations in the U.S. en route to Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina.

The trio is updating their journey and struggle on the Web at www.panam-team.de.

Category: News
Uniform subject(s): Terrorism and assassinations
Length: Medium, 369 words

2003 The Lethbridge Herald. All rights reserved.

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The Lethbridge Herald
Sunday A, Sunday, October 12, 2003, p. a3

[herald photo by rob olson German travellers Yan Schmitt, left, Sascha Epp and Florian Herb, right, pose with their 1964 Hanomag.]

Olson, Rob

herald photo by rob olson

Poser!

German travellers Yan Schmitt, left, Sascha Epp and Florian Herb, right, pose with their 1964 Hanomag. The trio is stranded in Canada after U.S. border officials refused to allow the vehicle into the country.

Category: News
Length: Short, 55 words

2003 The Lethbridge Herald. All rights reserved.

Doc.: 20031012LH0photo-germans_2ro









This material is copyrighted. All rights reserved.