Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in partnership with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Public Safety Canada concluded a five month pilot test of cargo pre-inspection, and deemed the concept feasible. The truck cargo pre-inspection pilot began on June 18, 2013 at the Pacific Highway crossing adjacent to Surrey, British Columbia (BC). The project was coordinated under the U.S./Canadian “Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness” initiative. Transport Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the BC Ministry of Transport also participated in the pilot.
Phase I of the initiative was designed as a “proof of concept” to determine 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. The Phase I concept was also designed to test the feasibility of using certain technologies and jointly-developed procedures in order to conduct CBP primary truck processing in Canada.
Eligible participants were enrolled members of CBP’s Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program. FAST-eligible trucks entering the United States had the opportunity to use a dedicated pre-inspection commercial primary booth located on the Canadian side of the border. Secondary inspections, when required, were conducted in the U.S. port of entry.
Phase II of the pilot will be conducted at the Peace Bridge Crossing in Buffalo, N.Y./Fort Erie, ON and will begin in January 2014 for up to one year. Phase II 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.