OTTAWA, Ont. — Minister of National Revenue Elinor Caplan and U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced the expansion of FAST and NEXUS.
“We’re moving swiftly to make our joint border more efficient and secure by focussing on people we don’t know while speeding up the crossings of people we do know,” stated Minister Caplan.
Free and Secure Trade, or FAST, allows commercial shipments to clear customs faster at the border. This program, already in place at six of the largest land border crossings, will be expanding to six additional high-volume commercial crossings including sites in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Qubec by December of this year.
“The expansion of FAST demonstrates our joint and ongoing commitment to ensuring that Customs’ industry partners cross the border efficiently while enhancing security at the border,” said Commissioner Bonner.
New FAST ports of entry will include:
*Rock Island-Stanstead, Qubec/Derby Line, Vermont *St. Armand-de-Philipsburg, Qubec/Highgate Springs, Vermont *Lansdowne, Ontario/Alexandra Bay, New York *Emerson, Manitoba/Pembina, North Dakota *North Portal, Saskatchewan/Portal, North Dakota *Coutts, Alberta/Sweetgrass, Montana. *
This will bring the total number of sites where FAST is available to twelve and there are plans to have all of major commercial crossings FAST-capable by the end of 2004.
In addition, there will be five additional FAST driver enrolment centres across Canada, including sites in New Brunswick, Qubec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, bringing to ten the total number of enrolment centres.
New FAST commercial driver registration centres will be located in:
*Woodstock, New Brunswick/Houlton, Maine *St. Armand-de-Philipsburg, Qubec/Highgate Springs, Vermont *Emerson, Manitoba/Pembina, North Dakota *North Portal, Saskatchewan/Portal, North Dakota *Coutts, Alberta/Sweetgrass, Montana. *
Also announced is an agreement to establish the first FAST/NEXUS joint enrolment centre on the Canadian side of the border, at the Commercial Vehicle Processing Centre in Fort Erie, Ontario. This centre should be operational by July 2003.
FAST and NEXUS are items contained in the Canada- U.S. Smart Border Declaration and its companion 30-point Action Plan, signed by Deputy Prime Minister John Manley and Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, on December 12, 2001.
Both programs are built on the principle of risk management, where applicants must meet the requirements for admission to both countries and undergo security checks prior to approval for enrolment.
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