Canada, U.S. Launch Second Phase Of Truck Pre-Inspection Pilot



Published on 26 February 2014


by Office of the Spokesperson

(WireNews+Co)

Washington, D.C.

Canada and the United States officially launched Phase II of a truck cargo pre-inspection pilot at the Peace Bridge crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, February 24.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with Public Safety Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency, are cooperating in the project, DHS said in a news release the same day. The pilot is a key result of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, issued by President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2011.

The United States and Canada are using the pilot to test the concept of conducting CBP primary inspection of U.S.-bound truck cargo in Canada in order to better manage their shared border and improve economic opportunities for both countries.

“The commencement of this pilot is another key Beyond the Border success,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “The joint efforts of the United States and Canada are key to expediting the secure flow of commerce and improving the economic opportunity of our two countries.”

Mayorkas, along with Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney, Canadian Minister of National Defence Robert Nicholson, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and U.S. Representative Brian Higgins, attended the announcement in Buffalo. Earlier, Mayorkas, Blaney and Nicholson toured the CBP truck cargo pre-inspection area to see firsthand how pre-inspection has the potential to alleviate congestion and allow for faster crossings for travelers and trucks, all in a secure manner.

“The governments of Canada and the U.S. are ensuring the efficient flow of legitimate travelers and goods across our shared border,” said Blaney. “I am pleased with the success of Phase I at the Pacific Highway Crossing in British Columbia and that we are now launching Phase II of this important Beyond the Border Action Plan initiative.”

Phase II of the pilot will test the ability of the pre-inspection process to reduce wait times and border congestion, streamlining the flow of cross-border trade that is vital to both country’s economies, DHS said. Pre-inspection processing in Canada will include radiation screening and basic primary processing. Secondary inspections, when required, will continue to be conducted in the U.S. port of entry.

The success of the pilot program in western New York could lead to its permanence and the relocation of all truck inspections to Ontario, Schumer said.

“The United States and Canada have long enjoyed a strong binational partnership further bolstered by the Beyond the Border agreement,” said Higgins. “Pre-inspection saw success during Phase I and holds great promise of facilitating a more efficient flow of goods, delivering environmental benefits and reducing congestion for all crossing the bridge. A more predictable border serves to grow the already deeply connected economies of Western New York and Southern Ontario, supporting jobs and businesses on both sides of the bridge.”

Phase I of the initiative, which began June 2013 at the Pacific Highway crossing adjacent to Surrey, British Columbia, determined the feasibility of placing CBP officers on Canadian soil to pre-inspect selected southbound trucks, drivers and cargo prior to arrival into the United States.

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper announced “Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness,” a U.S.-Canada joint declaration, on February 4, 2011. It articulates a shared vision where both countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and services across their shared border.

More information on Beyond the Border is available on the DHS website.




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Posted 2014-02-26 13:05:00