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Old 09.09.2009, 09:55
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Border control - half a mile from the border

In the last month I've noticed two instances where the border is seemingly unmanned, and then about half a mile down the road (in CH) there is a massive presence of border police. The first time was at the St Louis border, where the border police were located near the Casino Hotel, Basel. The other was on the Weil Am Rhein border where they had set up a sort of checkpoint, again about half a mile in on Swiss soil.

Are they on the look out for someone in particular, or is this a way of catching smugglers who would have turned away from a manned border?
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Old 09.09.2009, 10:05
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

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In the last month I've noticed two instances where the border is seemingly unmanned, and then about half a mile down the road (in CH) there is a massive presence of border police. The first time was at the St Louis border, where the border police were located near the Casino Hotel, Basel. The other was on the Weil Am Rhein border where they had set up a sort of checkpoint, again about half a mile in on Swiss soil.

Are they on the look out for someone in particular, or is this a way of catching smugglers who would have turned away from a manned border?
Since there are reduced presence at the borders this is how they deal with it. Its been going on for quite a while before the Schengen. I have been stopped by these controls last year in St. Moritz and near La Chaux du Fonds in Jura. I've also seen them setting up not far from the German border close to Konstanz. From what I can gather its a fairly regular occurrence these days.
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Old 09.09.2009, 10:06
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

Seems to be very common since the Schengen regulations came into force.

Suits me - fewer checks at the border = less queueing.
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Old 09.09.2009, 10:20
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

In the case of the St Louis check, they were quite a way from the actual French border. So unless they had a guy with a walkie talkie at the border (hidden from view), I couldn't understand how they knew who was coming from France and who was just driving around in the general vicinity.
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Old 09.09.2009, 10:23
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

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In the case of the St Louis check, they were quite a way from the actual French border. So unless they had a guy with a walkie talkie at the border (hidden from view), I couldn't understand how they knew who was coming from France and who was just driving around in the general vicinity.
So was the one in St. Moritz. A good 20km from the border! I think they just do random controls. It's the way they do it now. I'm with Jekyll if it reduces the wait at the border I'm all for it.
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Old 09.09.2009, 10:57
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

As for the Saint Louis border, technically the French soil starts just after the Casino, there's a tiny sign there on Route Douaniere and you can see the border on the map as well.

the Schengen agreement does not allow systematic checks in border area with the main aim of people check, in case of CH they still have the right to do customs checks, but well, of course they still do the people check. I have a foreign (EU) licence plate and get stopped in border areas all the time. And they only ask for my papers, not once have they wanted to know anything about any goods I might have or even about the car. So I would most certainly say it's a people check, not a customs check. But as I have my permit in order, I have found that it's way more reasonable to shut up and produce the papers, not to discuss the Schengen acquis
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Old 09.09.2009, 10:58
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

Is it not to "control" multipliable border crossings with one unit. - hence cost savings.

I often see a Zoll car parked near the Beyer Foundation in Riehen about 1km from the Weil, Lorräch and Inzinger border crossings, 3 "major" borders with one unit doing spot checks for all 3.

Pat
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Old 09.09.2009, 12:11
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

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... Are they on the look out for someone in particular, or is this a way of catching smugglers who would have turned away from a manned border?
Maybe you? To be serious: Those spot checks are not at all unusual, they have nothing to do with "Schengen" nor are they particularely Swiss. I remember having run into such checks already 25 years ago. And in France as well as in Italy, I often came across such checks, too - even in the middle of the country. Nothing to bother about, though.
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Old 09.09.2009, 12:18
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

Have had that inside check too. Must be the ZH plates that get 'em all excited.

Eire you look like a smuggler, that's why you get checked.
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Old 09.09.2009, 12:23
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

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Maybe you? To be serious: Those spot checks are not at all unusual, they have nothing to do with "Schengen" nor are they particularely Swiss. I remember having run into such checks already 25 years ago. And in France as well as in Italy, I often came across such checks, too - even in the middle of the country. Nothing to bother about, though.
You are correct that they are not unusual however perhaps if you lived in a border region then you would be aware that organised checkpoints several km from the border have increased dramatically in the last 6 months.
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Old 09.09.2009, 12:31
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

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You are correct that they are not unusual however perhaps if you lived in a border region then you would be aware that organised checkpoints several km from the border have increased dramatically in the last 6 months.
I agree. I just wonder if it really makes sense to mess up the entire traffic on major Autobahns and the like instead of doing the checks only on those far fewer vehicles that actually cross the border.

I have no problem with the registration at the Einwohneramt and the like, but, with the risk of being called paranoid, I have the uneasy feeling that certain political circles really are using Schengen as an excuse for cranking up police state tendencies.
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Old 09.09.2009, 14:03
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Re: Border control - half a mile from the border

I've seen this take place in Austria, France, Germany and Luxembourg. Usually happens when you're in a rush. Tip: Take off your sunglasses, turn your music down, rent a wife/husband and 2.2 kids and you tend not to get picked on.

Sometimes it's just the police, most times it is customs, who have more judicial powers anyway. The price we pay for our alleged democracy.
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