Cost-Saving – Border Enhancements a Big Victory for Canadian Business
Doing business with our neighbours to the south is going to be a much smoother process in the near future after the Canadian and U.S. governments agreed to implement two action plans that will speed up the movement of both people and goods — a procedure that could save Canadian companies billions of dollars on a yearly basis based on early estimates.
The Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness sets out a road map for enhancing security while speeding up legitimate trade and travel across the Canada-U.S. border. The Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation will help to reduce barriers to trade, lower costs for consumers and businesses and align regulatory approaches between the two countries. Both plans contribute to a better managed and more secure border. By removing unnecessary requirements and aligning standards, Canadian and American companies will have greater access on both sides of the border.
Canadian companies will also see improvements in rail transport. Now, cargo on trains travelling to the U.S. is screened at the sea port of entry into Canada and again at the land border. This increases costs, delays and scheduling uncertainty for rail companies and their U.S. customers. When the Action Plan is fully implemented, the principle of “screened once, accepted twice” will apply. This approach will not only strengthen the management of security and other risks from offshore but will streamline Canada-U.S. border crossings as well.
By 2013, pilot projects will be launched that will assess and examine inbound marine cargo at Prince Rupert and Montreal. If successful, these year-long pilots will be made permanent and possibly expanded to other locations.
In a typical year, more than $500 billion worth of two-way trade takes place between Canada and the U.S. Canadian exports to the U.S. support one in seven jobs in our country, and U.S. exports to Canada support some eight million jobs in the U.S.
Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) and John Pistole, Transportation Security Administration’s Administrator, recently announced the extension of the U.S. TSA Pre™ (pre-check) lanes to Canadian NEXUS members, making air travel smarter and faster within the United States.
As of November 15, Canadians who are members of the NEXUS program travelling within the U.S will be able to use their NEXUS cards for expedited screening at 27 participating U.S. airports.
“The Government of Canada and the United States are delivering on commitments to include Canadian NEXUS members in designated TSA Pre™ lanes as part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan,” says Fletcher. “This will mean smarter and faster air travel for Canadian NEXUS members traveling within the U.S., while maintaining a high level of aviation security.”
“TSA is committed to expanding TSA Pre™ benefits to a growing passenger population in an effort to strengthen transportation security through risk-based methods,” says Pistole. “The inclusion of Canadian NEXUS members in TSA Pre™ is an important step in further harmonizing the security screening process between the U.S. and Canada.”
NEXUS is a joint program between Canada and the U.S. for pre-approved travellers to simplify border crossing while enhancing security. When travelling by air, NEXUS saves time by allowing members to use automated self-serve kiosks. The extension of this program is a result of the Beyond the Border Action Plan announced earlier this year by Prime Minister Harper and American President Barack Obama.
The announcement also supports border initiatives under the Economic Action Plan, which aims to create jobs and growth in Canada and the U.S. by improving the flow of people between our two countries.
Canadians looking to apply for NEXUS to take advantage of the benefits can do so by going online to www.nexus.gc.ca.