Wednesday, October 24, 2012

U.S.-Canada Cargo Security

I was recently in Toronto to speak to the Canadian Transport Lawyers Association about the so-called Beyond the Border Action Plan. One of the initiatives under that project is a pilot at the Prince Rupert port of entry in Canada to harmonize cargo screening. The ultimate goal is to move to an environment in which cargo can be screened once and admitted twice. Here is the text of the U.S. announcement of the pilot:

U.S. and Canada Announce New Pilot to Strengthen Cargo Security

(Tuesday, October 23, 2012)
Washington— The United States and Canada announced the launch of the Prince Rupert Pilot to strengthen cargo security at the Canada-U.S. border as part of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The pilot focuses on harmonizing the screening process for maritime cargo between the two countries.
“The Prince Rupert pilot implemented under the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy is key to the ongoing efforts to facilitate legitimate trade while still maintaining our security mission at the border,” said U.S. Consul General Anne Callaghan. “Harmonization of the cargo screening processes between the United States and Canada should result in a more efficient and secured supply chain and increased competitive economic posture.”
“The Canada-U.S. relationship is one of the world’s greatest trade success stories and we are working together not just at the border, but beyond the border, to increase our shared prosperity,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. “Accelerating the movement of secure cargo between our two countries will contribute to job creation, strong economic growth and greater long-term prosperity for hard working Canadians and their families.”
The pilot, which began earlier this month, focuses on maritime cargo arriving at Prince Rupert, BC with subsequent movement via rail before entering the United States at International Falls, Minn. It utilizes a harmonized approach developed by the U.S. and Canada which allows for the screening of inbound cargo arriving from offshore.
On February 4, 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper released the Beyond the Border Declaration, articulating a shared vision in which our countries will work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, and cargo across our shared border. The Action Plan, released on December 2011, outlines the specific steps our countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Beyond the Border Declaration.

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