Ottawa, Ontario, September 28, 2012 — The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that, effective September 30, 2012, both agencies will begin the Phase I pilot of the Entry/Exit initiative as outlined in the Beyond the Border Action Plan.
The Phase I pilot project will allow Canada and the U.S. to test the IT capacity to exchange and reconcile biographic information on the entry of travellers that are not Canadian citizens or U.S. citizens, such that a record of entry into one country could be considered as a record of exit from the other.
Under the pilot project, the CBSA and DHS will exchange data currently collected on third-country nationals (those who are neither citizens of Canada nor of the United States), permanent residents of Canada and lawful permanent residents of the United States at the following four ports of entry:
Beginning October 15, 2012, routine biographic information – collected between September 30, 2012, and January 31, 2013 – will be exchanged by both countries. This exchange means that record of entry into one country becomes a record of exit from the other country. This pilot program will not share information regarding Canadian or U.S. citizens. It will not affect regular operations.
"As outlined in the Beyond the Border Action Plan, our governments are committed to maintaining the integrity of our shared border," said Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety. "This sharing of entry and exit information will play a key part in bolstering border security."
"The sharing of entry and exit information will facilitate the legitimate flow of traffic between the U.S. and Canada while strengthening border security," said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner, David V. Aguilar. "This pilot is an important step forward in the shared perimeter vision."
A coordinated entry/exit system will help the U.S. and Canada identify persons who potentially overstay their lawful period of admission; track the departure of persons subject to removal orders; and verify that residency requirements are being met by applicants for continued eligibility in immigration programs. The process of collecting and sharing personal information will be done in accordance with each country's privacy laws and policies. It will also be consistent with the Action Plan Joint Statement of Privacy Principles, the Statement of Mutual Understanding on Information Sharing and a Letter of Intent agreed to by the CBSA and DHS. The executive summary of the CBSA's Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) of the pilot can be viewed on the Agency's Web site.
Currently collected data elements being shared are: first name, last name, middle name, date of birth, nationality, gender, document type, document number, work location code / U.S. port of entry codes, date of entry, time of entry, and document country of issuance. In addition to what Canada and the U.S. currently collect on travellers at ports of entry, the date and time of entry as well as the port through which the traveller entered will also be collected and exchanged.
On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama released the Beyond the Border Action Plan, articulating a shared vision in which our countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and services 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.
For more information on the Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, please visit the Web site www.borderactionplan.gc.ca.
For further information:
Canada Border Services Agency