Innovation, Technology and Partnerships
The safety and security of Canadians is a top priority of the Government of Canada. With over 200 million marine container shipments taking place every year at major seaports worldwide, enhancing the security of the border, while facilitating the legitimate flow of goods, are important objectives of both Canada and the United States. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) works closely with its American counterpart, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to achieve greater synergy and a coordinated approach to border security.
The CBSA examines all containers that that may pose a high risk before allowing them to enter Canada.
The CBSA strives to develop programs and initiatives and create and foster partnerships to keep Canada safe. The following measures specifically address marine trade security:
To specifically address container security, the CBSA launched the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) marine program in April 2004. The program provides officers with advance cargo reporting to make informed decisions about whether to inspect a container before it arrives in Canada. For example, industry must report marine data electronically to the CBSA 24 hours before loading shipping containers at foreign seaports for all Canada-bound vessels (24-hour rule).
Through the National Risk Assessment Centre, the CBSA performs risk assessments and determines whether examinations are required in foreign ports to address any potential security threats.
The ACI program is being delivered in phases in accordance with the Canada-U.S. Smart Border Declaration. Subsequent phases of ACI will focus on air, highway and rail.
On October 20, 2005, the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a Container Security Initiative Partnership Arrangement. The objective of this arrangement is to enhance marine security by deploying CBSA officers to foreign ports so that they can pre-screen and examine cargo containers in coordination with the host nation before the containers arrive in Canada.
This partnership with the U.S. will allow Canada to better protect its citizens. At the same time, it supports the Canadian economy by facilitating trade across our borders.
The Canada-U.S. Joint In-Transit Container Targeting at Seaports Initiative has two objectives: to achieve maximum effectiveness in identifying high-risk containers at the first point of arrival in North America, and to share important law-enforcement information from both sides of the border through an exchange of officers.
Under Action Point 18 of the Smart Border Declaration, CBSA officers are stationed at seaports in the U.S. while CBP officers are stationed at Canadian seaports. By working together, Canada and the U.S. can improve container inspection by jointly targeting marine in-transit containers that arrive in Canada or the U.S. en route to the other country. American officials have been stationed at Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal while Canadian officials are stationed in Seattle-Tacoma and Newark. The program simplifies the inspection process and helps avoid duplicate examinations.