US, Canada closer to launching cross-border cargo pre-release program

Both the US Customs and Border Protection and its northern counterpart, the Canadian Border Services Agency, are continuing efforts to implement an advanced cargo release program to speed cross-border rail and truck shipments.  According to American Shipper, the agencies hope to implement a pilot program, “in the near future,”  for pre-clearance of truck shipments at the Buffalo, NY and Fort Erie, ON border crossing.

US officials expect the scope of the program to be limited to “low-risk trading companies” enrolled in US Customs’ C-TPAT program and Canada’s analogous Partners in Protection program.

As American Shipper reported,

Pre-clearance could be set up in many different ways, but essentially would involve checking shipments for trade compliance, safety and security at designated inland facilities or even a commercial distribution center and incorporating safeguards to ensure the cargo was transported without tampering directly to a pre-determined border crossing.

Although meetings have been scheduled between the two agencies to discuss the details of cargo pre-clearance, no official target date for launch of the pilot program have yet been announced.

Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner.

The American Shipper article, “U.S., Canada renew cargo pre-clearance efforts,” is available here.  (site registration required for access to entire article).

One thought on “US, Canada closer to launching cross-border cargo pre-release program”

  1. With Richard Lidinsky, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission considering a levy on cargo entering the Unites States from British Columbia ports, this could harm cross-border trade and the cross border cargo pre-release program. Also with the “buy American” initiatives this undermines NAFTA. Call it a levy, call it Customs Duty. Protectionism within NAFTA does not work and will not be conducive to any “One Border” Initiative

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