AMHS ends service to Prince Rupert on Oct. 1

Alaska Marine Highway System will end service to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on Oct. 1 because of an inability to meet security requirements for U.S. Customs, state officials said.

The twice weekly summer and once weekly winter route annually carries some 7,000 passengers and 4,500 vehicles, according to AMHS.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection instituted a new requirement last spring for AMHS to secure a Canadian law enforcement presence to protect CBP personnel in Prince Rupert while CBP personnel perform inspection duties.

The requirement specifies a Canadian law enforcement presence with ability to make arrests in Canada, which is not a duty AMHS staff can perform.

AMHS was given a waiver until Sept. 30 and has been working with the city of Prince Rupert and Royal Canadian Mounted Police since last spring to try and make this happen, but Canadian law enforcement officials don’t have staff available to do this, said Meadow Bailey, spokeswoman for AMHS.

Prince Rupert lies 91 nautical miles southeast of Ketchikan. The ferry ride takes about six hours.