FAST lane opens; CCRA announces new FAST crossings
SARNIA, Ont. (Dec. 17, 2003) — Use of a dedicated truck lane and booth infrastructure that is part of the Free and Secure Trade expedited border clearance system at the Blue Water Bridge will commence on January 5, 2004.
FAST is a bilateral U.S./Canadian Customs and Immigration program that offers expedited clearance to pre-authorized importers, carriers and drivers through “designated lanes” when available.
FAST-approved carriers can utilize designated lanes on Highway 402 as they approach the bridge and a designated lane on the bridge itself direct to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection primary booth. Designated lanes and booths will also be available for trucks entering Canada.
The Blue Water Bridge Authority and the Michigan Department of Transportation have dedicated resources including new variable message signs on the bridge. A FAST/EXPRES placard has been developed and is currently being made available by the Blue Water Bridge to importers who are eligible for the program through their C-TPAT certification. Carriers that are part of the program must display these placards on their approach to the bridge.
For more information on the FAST program at the Blue Water Bridge please contact Stan Korosec, Vice President/Operations Blue Water Bridge Authority by phone at (519) 336-2720 or by email at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, the FAST program recently became operational at the Coutts/Sweetgrass border as well. In addition the Pembina, N.D./Emerson, Man. and Portal, N.D./North Portal, Sask., crossings have also been added to the FAST program.
Manitoba Trucking Association general manager Bob Dolyniuk applauded the news, telling local media trucking companies no longer have to send drivers to either Ontario or B.C. to register and take advantage of the program. Previously the two closest FAST crossings to Manitoba were in Windsor, Ont. or Pacific Highway, B.C./Blaine, Wash. crossing.
The Woodstock, N.B. /Houlton, Maine site is expected to open before the end of the year, and Stanstead, Que./Derby Line, Vermont in January.
— With Files from the Winnipeg Free Press
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