Canada and US sign border pre-clearance agreement

by Truck News

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Steven Blaney and US Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson signed a pre-clearance agreement, which is paving the way for changes to the way people and goods will move across the border.

CTA president David Bradley was present in Washington, DC for the signing and showed his support for the pre-clearance, saying, “Today’s news is a major step forward for both governments and the trucking industry. While legislation is required in both countries to fully implement the agreement, we’re now on a path toward a fully-functioning pre-clearance policy where and when it makes sense.

“The agreement reflects the hard work of many people in the Canadian and U.S. Governments, ” he said. “The yardsticks have definitely moved down the field.”

The Beyond the Border Action Plan in 2011 made both governments consider such an agreement, though plans to put one in place were put on hold many times, though two pre-inspection pilots in both B.C. and Ontario have acted as precursors to today’s agreement.

In 2013, at the Pacific Highway crossing, trucks were required to stop twice. Once in Canada to speak with US CBP and then again on the US side. Then, in Fort Erie, Ont. a second pilot establish two pre-inspection booths.

The CTA has maintained that the two pilots primarily tested “pre-inspection” and not full pre-clearance.

“True pre-clearance would see a truck fully cleared by customs before arriving at the border,” said Bradley. “This would allow a truck that has been pre-cleared to cross the border without having to stop at all. This is where the potential for real-world efficiency lies.

“Today’s Canada-US formal pre-clearance agreement provides a legal framework for more fulsome discussions to implement a permanent model of true pre-clearance.”

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