FORT ERIE, Ont. — Canada and the US have announced a one-year pre-inspection pilot program to be conducted at the Peace Bridge, which if successful could allow for the pre-clearance of trucks at certain border crossings.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said the new pilot marks the culmination of years of negotiations between the two countries.
A commitment to conduct a pre-inspection pilot was first outlined in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. It would allow border officials from the country of entry to conduct pre-inspections of trucks on the other side of the border, CTA reports. It is believed doing so would allow for more thorough and efficient vehicle inspections.
During the pilot, US CBP officers will pre-inspect trucks entering the US on the Canadian side, in hopes of avoiding backups on the bridge due to the size constraints and the Customs plaza on the Buffalo side, according to CTA. Two new US CBP booths will be erected on the Canadian side to facilitate inspections.
Once inspected on the Canadian side, most trucks will only be required to come to a rolling stop at the US CBP exit booth.
“The trucking industry has a keen interest in facilitating the shipment of goods across the Canada-US border while maintaining security,” Canadian Trucking Alliance president David Bradley said at the announcement today. “The Peace Bridge pilot is indicative of innovative new thinking and its outcome is therefore of great importance to us and to the world’s largest bilateral trade relationship.”
The program will be evaluated on its ability to more expeditiously move trucks across the border.
“Everyone wants the pilot to be a success,” says Bradley. “But if things don’t go as planned, or there are some unintended consequences, it is important that the protocols are in place to take the necessary corrective action on a timely basis and in communication with industry.”
To see how the pilot program will work, check out this video produced by the Ontario Trucking Association.