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Key branch programs: President transition 2022

CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) Project

The CARM project is a multi-year initiative that will modernize and transform the Agency's commercial revenue management systems and processes used to process the billions of dollars in trade that flows across the border annually. CARM fundamentally allows the CBSA to re-imagine and redefine Canada's relationship with brokers, importers, and carriers while augmenting the Agency's data-rich ecosystems and use of data analytics. The project will position the CBSA to become a global leader in trade by providing a modern customs experience that is paperless by default, uses innovative tools and processes to make importing into Canada more efficient and streamlined, and ensures the security of Canada's borders.

CARM aims to: reduce administrative burdens for importers and other trade chain partners; increase Government of Canada revenues through the consistent assessment of duties and tax; and increase the CBSA's processing efficiency at the pre-arrival, accounting, and post-accounting phases of commercial goods importation. Together, these outcomes offer a net benefit over $1 billion within ten years of implementation.

CARM is being deployed in three releases of increasing complexity and scope:

  • Release 0 (deployed ) set the foundation for CARM by deploying our Accounts Receivable Ledger solution into the Cloud and enhancing performance of many of the transactions/reports
  • Release 1 (deployed ) included the first stakeholder-focused changes: the introduction of the external CARM Client Portal for importers and customs brokers, and the internal user portal for CBSA employees
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Once fully implemented, the project will simplify the overall importing process and provide a modern interface for importing into Canada, which allows importers self-service access to their own information. This project will also reduce the cost of importing into Canada and increase the rigour of the system through improved consistency in trade rules and decisions, and strengthened compliance verification and fraud detection.

Supply Chains and Commercial Trade

The impact of sluggish or fractured supply chains became an all too familiar reality for consumers, companies and governments across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although commercial volumes cleared through Canadian borders remained largely constant throughout the pandemic, economic recovery efforts are still influenced by prolonged supply chain fragility and product shortages. With its dual responsibility for mitigating risk and facilitating the movement of goods to consumers and companies, the CBSA has a vital stake in the future of supply chain management. From a border management perspective, CBSA interests in fostering strong commercial supply chains include:

  • Negotiation of international trade agreements, authorized economic operator agreements and bilateral agreements with the US
  • Ensuring goods entering into Canadian commerce are free from forced labour, a major Government of Canada (GoC) priority
  • Protecting against infiltration by organized crime entities that aim to move contraband that negatively impacts the health and safety of Canadians
  • Preventing fraudulent and counterfeit goods from entering Canada and the adverse impacts they have on the economic well-being of Canadian businesses and Canadians
  • Measures to prevent trade-based money laundering so as to disrupt organized crime activity
  • Building capacity and enhancing authorities to compel timely and high quality supply chain data to support risk assessment, facilitation and enforcement
  • Using advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, near real-time analysis, and targeting to identify as well as respond to supply chain vulnerabilities and implement appropriate responses (for example, port of entry blockages, marine port congestion, etc.)

The CBSA is actively involved with key allies such as the Border 5 (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) to continually advance collaborative work on global supply chain security and facilitation by increasing the capacity and competency of customs organizations around the world.

A resilient supply chain is a secure supply chain

In addition to transportation mode disruptions, the use of supply chains to move illicit opioids and analogues, precursor chemicals, illegal firearms, counterfeit goods, or to conduct trade-based money laundering are examples of how a lack of supply chain security, is a persistent economic, health and safety threat. Recent collaborative Transport Canada policy leadership to advance port modernization provides an important example of joint effort underway to address security aspects in a mode-specific supply chain. Proposals being advanced by Transport Canada, including enhanced port and employee security measures, higher penalties and investment in technology to detect contraband and unsafe products, offer promising potential to enhance marine supply chain security. CBSA will continue to engage Transport Canada in order to integrate its border compliance perspective and requirements into next steps and future decision-making.

Another example is the Postal Modernization strategy, which is currently leveraging the deployment of advanced X-ray capability and data technologies to increase detection in the postal stream. Additionally, the CBSA is working with industry to develop pallet-sized examination technologies to support air cargo supply chain security.

Leveraging global and domestic partnerships

The government's attention to supply chains provides an important opportunity for the CBSA to ensure that border management and border enforcement needs (in the import and export of goods domain) are given visibility as well as the resourcing necessary to deliver effective results. Leveraging large partner-led initiatives, such as those being coordinated by Transport Canada, can ensure that supply chains operate in an integrated manner to facilitate the smooth and timely flow of goods while interdicting goods that threaten the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canada and Canadians.

Recent discussions in global border forums have shown that resilient supply chains is a topic of great importance for both key allies such as the B5 as well as the European Union, G-7 nations and other like-minded nations. The recent World Customs Organization (WCO) Enforcement Committee highlighted the need for a global approach to supply chain security given the ease with which organized crime infiltrates, exploits, and ultimately disrupts supply chains in different parts of the world. While domestic supply chains are not within the CBSA's mandate, our experience with organized crime shows that domestic organized crime is frequently linked to global organized crime. Engagement with the broader Canadian law enforcement community remains an important part of strengthening supply chains.

The CBSA engages regularly with key industry participants in Canadian cross-border supply chains (manufacturers, brokers, freight forwarders, importers, transporters, etc.) to work collaboratively to address current operational issues, address systemic noncompliance and identify a path forward for the future.

Incrementally modernizing CBSA to support supply chains

The CBSA has numerous initiatives underway that will directly and indirectly support strong and resilient supply chains for Canada including:

  • Targeting of high risk goods for removal from supply chains
  • Pre-arrival cargo information and risk assessment
  • Better use of data analytics to guide border interventions
  • Implementation of detection technology to identify contraband
  • The implementation and modernization of the Trusted Trader Program
  • The Secure Corridor and Commercial Lane Enhancement (SCCLE) project
  • Trade and commercial compliance investments that assist traders and collaborative arrangements with OGD and bilateral partners

Appendix A: Project description

Courier Low Value Shipment (CLVS) Program

Exacerbated by COVID-19, Canadians are increasingly shopping online and ordering goods from abroad, resulting in a corresponding surge of e-commerce goods imported by courier companies. The increasing popularity of e-commerce has resulted in an exponential increase in the volumes of goods imported through the CBSA Courier Low Value Shipment (CLVS) Program.

Implemented in 1993, the CLVS Program was designed to expedite and streamline the processing of express shipments by allowing reduced advanced data requirements, immediate release, extended accounting timeframes and consolidated accounting information for courier goods under $3,300.

To keep pace with the evolving global e-commence environment, including volumes and consumer demand, courier business models have changed over time. The e-commerce Low Value Inspection System (ELVIS) Project, currently entering the pilot stage, will leverage the power of machine learning to support CBSA targeting in courier mode and allow the CBSA to better manage this supply chain. Below is the current roadmap to stabilize and modernize the CLVS Program.

CLVS within the commercial modernization roadmap

1 to 3 years

Stabilize CLVS:

  • Create Courier/Postal Taskforce
  • Fast track CLVS Compliance Framework to align with Commercial and Trade frameworks
  • Within the Detection Technology Strategy, develop better detection capabilities
  • Develop a strategy to improve security and working conditions
  • Synchronize Trusted Trader Modernization and CLVS
  • Harmonize CLVS and CARM
  • Provide national clarity and consistency to allow regions to deny adhoc service expansion
  • Explore warehouse admissibility criteria and agreements

3 to 5 years

Modernize CLVS:

  • Deploy ELVIS nationally
  • Adapt staff capacity to volumes
  • Leverage Detection Technology Strategy, develop better detection capabilities
  • Introduce legislative and regulatory reform to modernize CLVS data requirements and penalties
  • Continue to explore warehouse admissibility criteria and agreements
  • Rationalize special services agreements and adapt cost recovery models
  • Modernize CBSA warehouse eligibility, requirements and management

Postal Program

Established in 1992, the Postal Program is defined by the Postal Imports Agreement between the CBSA and the Canada Post Corporation (CPC). The Customs Act grants the CBSA and CPC the legislative authorities for the processing of international mail at three separate processing facilities located in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.

While traditional letter mail continues to decline, Canada Post is repositioning itself for the small parcel market resulting in continual overall growth.

To address the e-commerce driven pressures of operational capacity, policies, processes and existing infrastructure, the CBSA is implementing a National Postal Strategy. A core element of the strategy is the Postal Modernization Initiative (PMI) which, in partnership with CPC, is currently introducing modernized technology for identifying mail, leveraging data to support high volumes and time sensitive risk assessment. Completion of the PMI is expected in early fiscal year 2023 to 2024. The Agency has developed the National Postal Strategy (NPS) and its deliverables have been identified by the CBSA as a key priority. The CBSA works collaboratively with CPC from front-line officer and management engagement on the daily, up to biannual meetings at the President level.

The continued strength of the partnership will be essential to complete the successful implementation of postal modernization and other challenging initiatives related to resource allocation and addressing legacy systematic inefficiencies across the international mail system.


The Electronic Longroom (e-Longroom) refers to the use of email and secure digital CBSA stamps for the processing of what was traditionally only possible via paper cargo and release requests. The e-Longroom is in the piloting phase to accept select export paperwork and marine vessel reporting documents. E-Longroom has been demonstrated to be more efficient than the legacy paper process. Prior to this service, a commercial client's only option was to attend the CBSA office to submit paper packages for requests that did not qualify for electronic submission. Fast-tracked for implementation as a COVID-19 response, e-Longroom enables the facilitation of low-risk cargo through the supply chain using existing technology. E-Longroom will continue post COVID-19 as a permanent service enhancement and will be expanded to 100 CBSA offices by the end of 2022, and will grow to offer greater service for hazardous waste permits from exporters, paper export reporting by carriers and marine vessel clearance process (E-Vessel).

Secure Corridor Commercial Lane Enhancement (SCCLE)

The SCCLE project is focused on making improvements to commercial highway processing by increasing automation to increase the speed at which trusted traders move through the border while simultaneously reducing the risks to public health by limiting physical interactions between Border Services Officers (BSOs) and commercial truck drivers. After several years of successful pilot implementation, the SCCLE project will oversee the development and implementation of these technologies in [Redacted].

The end-state IT solution will integrate a range of data elements to provide BSOs a single interface and risk assessed information to enhance frontline decision making. Other supporting technologies such as License Plate Readers (LPRs) and Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs) will also be deployed to improve program integrity and reduce processing times in high volume non-trusted trader lane.


Marine Port Modernization

Rising marine container volumes and insufficient examination capacity has placed significant pressures on the CBSA's ability to mitigate risk and facilitate trade. As result of the 2011 Beyond the Border (BtB) Action Plan, the Marine Container Examination Facility (MCEF) project committed to construct two new installation as part of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) responsibilities, to service the Port of Vancouver's four container terminals, as well as the planned VFPA terminal expansion. Although initial timelines and construction of the TCEF warehouse experienced delays, the TCEF became operational in . Delivery against the remaining MCEF project commitments has been challenged by virtue of the complexity in marine port administration, competing port infrastructure projects, and specific circumstances related to the status of the land on which the TCEF is located as it pertains to the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) land.

The project consists of the following commitments:

  • Building of the new Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility (TCEF) at Roberts Bank to service container examinations from the Deltaport and Fraser Surrey terminals. Complete
  • Construction of a Fixed Large Scale Imaging (F-LSI) facility at the TCEF. Ongoing
  • Replacement of the Burnaby MCEF through the construction of the MCEF at Burrard Inlet, to service container examinations from the Centerm and Vanterm terminals. Ongoing
  • Construction of a F-LSI facility at the Burrard Inlet MCEF. Ongoing

The Agency continues work to strengthen our position with VFPA while ensuring horizontal alignment on mechanisms to solve the current issues and proceed with all phases of the MCEF project. At this time, the primary focus is determining the best approach to resolve the issue of TFN Member Benefits.

Commercial Risking Model

The Commercial Risking Model (CRM) represents a focused effort to develop data-driven risk analysis that can support CBSA commercial programs. The CRM has been engineered to provide a portal to the CBSA's commercial data stores as well as other datasets that can enhance the content and frameworks of the model.

By leveraging the CBSA's historical commercial data, the CRM seeks to improve the understanding of commercial compliance risks at the macro level, and in turn assist in supporting commercial program frameworks by enabling decision-making on the basis of risk.

Risk-modelling, as performed by the CRM, consists of a composite risk indicator framework. The risk indicators are applied to the CBSA's commercial data history at the transactional level. Subsequently, risk analysis can be performed for a wide variety of data indicators that can be built using numerous data filters, such as time periods, work locations or specific trade parties.

To date, the CRM has been used to measure and compare the relative overall risk levels, as well as the prevalence of specific risk characteristics, for modes of transport, Ports of Entry and trade parties. The goals for these particular forms of risk analysis are to assist in decisions relating to technology asset placement at Ports of Entry, evaluating relative needs for resource allotments at different work locations and examining the risk picture for members of CBSA facilitation programs. The CRM is anticipated to have broad applications in assessing commercial-related risk and will continue to expand upon its use in support of business planning activities.

Commercial Culpability Framework

The Commercial and Trade Branch has made a commitment to establish a progressive architecture for strengthened risk-based compliance for both health, safety, security and revenue collection, inclusive of the commercial-trade continuum. This has been achieved by focusing efforts on developing a robust Commercial Culpability Framework (CCF) to improve the industry's voluntary compliance while strengthening export compliance monitoring and verification procedures.

The framework supports verifying compliance using a risk-based approach while minimizing the impacts of non-compliance and reducing risks to acceptable levels. This is currently being achieved through a Commercial Compliance Committee (CCC) comprised of key stakeholders that collaborate to review and identify program requirements, risks, gaps, mitigation controls and enhance the types of compliance activities which are in place today in order to further develop a compliance strategy on a national level.

The CCF also includes the completion of Program Profiles which provide an overview of the commercial program areas' obligations and compliance environment, as well as enable the Agency to present compliance performance data as a means of identifying program efficiencies and effectiveness. These profiles are necessary for the creation of a complete compendium of compliance activities, as well as ensuring resources are efficiently placed at the Agency and program levels.

Compliance baseline rates are being established as part of the frameworks model to allow programs to report on whether program goals are being met, and serves as a starting point for the Agency to measure ongoing and future initiatives and to develop minimum performance thresholds.

Cargo Preclearance Pilots

The CBSA is developing two cargo preclearance proofs of concept (POCs) in the air courier and rail modes in the United States (U.S.), under the authorities of the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America and the Preclearance Act, 2016. These POCs will see CBSA officers located at strategic locations on U.S. soil to conduct customs processing of commercial goods destined for Canada. In collaboration with key stakeholders, including industry and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the CBSA continues to refine policies and finalize operational elements for both POCs.

At this time, POC participants and proposed locations have not been publically announced, and negotiations have not been finalized. Implementation of these POCs remains dependent on the stabilization of the pandemic; however, with funding announced in Budget 2021 and re-engagement with stakeholders, progress continues. The CBSA is currently targeting 2023 for initial implementation (deployment of officers to the U.S.).

Cargo preclearance operations at key locations in the U.S. will test operating procedures, infrastructure, and logistics, while also assessing the impacts and benefits to stakeholders and the CBSA in a real-world context. Outcomes from the POCs will inform a strategic expansion plan for future, permanent preclearance operations in the U.S., while supporting the Government of Canada's commitment to facilitate trade and enhance security. Cargo preclearance represents a transformative opportunity to implement innovative and cost-effective methods to increase the efficiency and security of the Canada-U.S. border. It aims to expedite service by allowing the CBSA to make release/referral decisions on foreign soil resulting in improved predictability, time savings, and fewer disruptions for industry.

The viability of cargo preclearance at strategic hub locations has been explored in consultation with internal areas of the CBSA, government partners, and impacted external stakeholders. Stakeholders recognize that cargo preclearance operations may provide a variety of benefits, including an ability to expedite the movement of goods in the trade chain continuum, while maintaining a high level of safety and security. Amid the pandemic, stakeholder engagement with U.S. and industry POC participants has been positive, with continued support and commitment for the CBSA's efforts to implement cargo preclearance operations.

Trade Compliance Strategy

The CBSA plays the role of economic regulator through its oversight of importer trade compliance, its delivery of various regulatory trade programs – including overseeing the customs broker regime for Canada – and its administration of trade policy, including rules of origin, customs tariffs, and value for duty of goods imported into Canada.

In its 2017 Audit of Customs Duties, the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) strongly criticized the CBSA's customs duty compliance regime.

Figure 1
CBSA's trade compliance strategy
Figure 1 - Text version

CBSA's trade compliance strategy

Risk - Verify - Release

Trusted Customs Client
Clients with excellent performance ratings and quality control and assurance mechanisms have access to privilege programs.
Publish compliance ratings to incent improvement and inform the market. Target and push out information needed to enable compliance.
Partnerships for Progress
in progess
Work with industry to strengthen compliance maturity over time (for example, professionalization, compliance enabling services and expectations for compliance performance). Inform how we tailor outreach and services to support maturity.
Robust Licensing Regime
in progess
Customs Broker Licensing regime that incents quality compliance practices and performance.
Calibrated Compliance Enforcement: Culpability Framework
completed or nearing completion
Trade enforcement is predictable, consistent, calibrated to the circumstances of non-compliance.
Revised Trade AMPS
completed or nearing completion
A progressive AMPS regime, that raises penalty levels based upon type and frequency of non-compliance, and acts as a trigger for other compliance activities.
Comprehensive Trade Risking
completed or nearing completion
Entity and transaction-level risking
completed or nearing completion
CARM design enables implementation of Compliance Vision.
in progess
New Authorities are required to implement Compliance Vision.

In response, the Agency developed a comprehensive trade compliance strategy that includes building improved trade risking capabilities, increasing transparency as it relates to compliance expectations, and introducing a culpability framework for trade. The objective of the strategy is to push enforcement up earlier in the importation process and to ensure a company's compliance performance impacts CBSA interventions.

Notable accomplishments of the trade strategy to date include: the development of the CARM trade risking engine, which will be used to determine the risk of non-compliance posed by entities and transactions; the establishment of a national trade risking network to prioritize and coordinate compliance interventions across the country; and, revised trade administrative and monetary penalty amounts to incent industry compliance.

The strategy also includes the development of a number of tools to improve voluntary industry compliance. For example, beginning earlier this year, the Agency piloted its approach to "nudging" compliance through issuance of Trade Advisory Notices (TANs). Notices were sent to importers asking them to review their customs declarations; helpful published guidance was also provided. Another new tool, known as a Compliance Validation Letter (CVL), has been issued to some importers suspected of being non-compliant, requesting they provide additional information to the CBSA within a 30 day period. If adequate information is not provided within 30 days, an assessment of duty and taxes owing will be issued at that time. Neither of these tools carries penalties; instead, they seek to move importers to a state of assured compliance. Such tools are also less resource-intensive than a full Compliance Verification.

The CBSA has leveraged various stakeholder fora – including the Agency's Border Commercial Consultative Committee (BCCC) – to engage industry as various elements of the strategy have been developed and rolled out. To date, industry response has been largely supportive of the strategy. However, an area where the Agency has met resistance is in the need for industry to make up-front investments to improve trade compliance – this runs counter to many current practices. For example, industry informed the Agency that an oft-used compliance practice is to use the CBSA's published list of trade compliance verification priorities to drive "after the fact" quality assessments within trade chain organizations. This is the type of behaviour that the CBSA is seeking to discourage, as it is reactive and encourages a "catch me if you can" relationship. The Agency expects to continue to receive resistance from some industry members for up-front compliance assessments, but will continue to use communication and voluntary compliance tools to encourage the introduction of these controls.

The next initiative to be pursued in the trade compliance strategy is comprehensive reform of the Customs Broker regime, which has remained virtually unchanged since its initial design in 1986. Customs brokers play a critical role as they are often the primary interlocutor between the importers and the CBSA. The CBSA's Executive Policy Committee approved the CBL regulatory review in ; consultations are on hold in light of CARM-related pressures impacting the responsible area.

Anti-dumping Program

Through investigations and compliance activities under the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), the CBSA plays a vital and increasingly recognized role in assuring a level playing field for Canadian industry, primarily the steel sector, to compete with imported products. The SIMA reflects Canada's implementation of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on the Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (the Anti-Dumping Agreement) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

Dumping occurs when goods are sold to importers in Canada at prices that are lower than the selling price of comparable goods in the country of export, or when goods are sold in Canada at unprofitable prices with which the Canadian domestic industry cannot compete. The amount of dumping on imported goods may be offset by the application of "anti-dumping" duty. Subsidizing occurs when goods imported into Canada benefit from foreign government financial assistance. Some examples of subsidies include tax incentives, grants or loans at preferential rates. The amount of subsidizing on imported goods may be offset by the application of "countervailing" duty.

Finance Canada is the federal department policy lead for SIMA. The CBSA, specifically the Anti-dumping and Countervailing program, alongside the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) are jointly responsible for administering the SIMA.

SIMA helps protect Canadian industries from material injury caused by the dumping and subsidizing of imported goods. It directly helps protect Canadian jobs and production levels. For example, as of , special import measures have directly helped to protect approximately 29,854 Canadian jobs and $10.4 billion in Canadian production. Further, from 2016 to 2018 Chinese aluminum extrusions diminished by about 73%; and hollow structural sections steel imports from South Korea and Turkey have been discontinued.

The Agency's operational delivery of this program is challenged by a number of factors. First, Canadian industries facing competitive pressures and trade climate volatility are making more demands on the program. Currently there are 127 SIMA duties in force protecting Canadian jobs and production – which represents an 80% increase over seven years. Traditional users of the program, such as the steel industry, still account for most of the program uptake (46%), but increasingly, non-traditional users, such as environmental and high-tech and consumer products sectors are also launching anti-dumping and/or subsidization complaints. Complexity of the investigations and analysis required has also increased as a result of steel industry advocacy and corresponding government reforms. The reforms bolstered regulatory transparency, enhanced predictability for business but also introduced new time-consuming proceedings (for example, particular market situation) which have significantly increased the complexity of analysis required to complete anti-dumping proceedings. This added complexity makes it even more difficult for CBSA to meet what are already the tightest statutory timelines governing the conduct of anti-dumping investigations among the Border 5 group of countries. This situation increases the risk of CBSA decisions being challenged, in courts, nationally and internationally, a trend that is already evident.

Budget 2019 provided upwards of $4 million in new funding to assist with some of these CBSA pressures; however, demand continues to outstrip capacity and without reprieve from statutory time limits, it is clear that additional measures will be needed to modernize and sustain delivery of the program going forward.

Duties Relief Program (DRP) and Duties Drawback Program

The CBSA trade incentive programs help Canadian companies be competitive by enabling the waiver (relief), postponement (deferral) or refund (drawback) of some or all of the duties and taxes that would otherwise be payable. Two of these programs are the Duties Relief Program (DRP) and Drawback Program, which the Agency administers on behalf of the Department of Finance Canada.

The DRP is a regulatory, licence-based program allowing Canadian companies to import goods without paying duties and/or surtaxes on the condition that the imported goods are subsequently exported. The Drawback Program has the same conditions and obligations as the DRP. However, Canadian companies must pay the import duties first and, once the goods are subsequently exported, a drawback claim (refund) can be made. Importations made under these programs are subject to trade compliance verifications by regional officers.

In its 2017 Customs Duties audit, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) found weaknesses in the control framework for the DRP, which allowed Supply-Managed Goods (SMGs) to be diverted into the Canadian market without the applicable duties being paid.

In response, the Agency committed on at the Standing Committee of Public Accounts to conduct trade compliance verifications of all DRP participants that were in the business of importing SMGs. Out of 41 verifications initiated, 34 have concluded and found 27 instances of non-compliance resulting in $577 million in total duties being assessed and 17 DRP participants having had their licence suspended or cancelled. Any verification resulting in an assessment in excess of $1 million is considered a high-value case and is therefore briefed up to senior management for awareness.

Domestic dairy and poultry producers have also expressed concerns with the increasing use of the DRP for importing dairy and poultry products and its potential negative impact on the integrity of Canada's supply management system. They maintain that the DRP does not provide adequate safeguards to address potential diversion of imports into the domestic market. Canadian supply management producer associations have been supportive of the CBSA's compliance interventions to date, although they argue the Agency should do more to protect Canada's supply management regime.

CBSA's compliance verification activities of DRP participants importing SMGs has resulted in 21 high-value appeals before the Federal Court. Currently, there are 9 ongoing court challenges that are collectively contesting over $278 million in total duties owed.

The Agency has successfully defended its administration of the DRP and its verification results in response to appeals. Nonetheless, the Agency is working on updating guidance to industry.

[Redacted] The Program Evaluation of the DRP and Drawback Program was completed in early 2022. The evaluation concluded that CBSA has improved compliance [Redacted]. The evaluation could not, however, demonstrate that program compliance had improved [Redacted]. In addition to aforementioned program improvements, a new performance measurement framework is also being developed.

The DRP and Drawback Program remain vital and are relevant programs administered by the CBSA in support of the Canadian economy.

National Security Screening

Program overview

The CBSA's Immigration National Security Screening Program (INSSP) contributes to the safety and security of Canada by identifying foreign nationals seeking entry into Canada who are inadmissible and may represent a risk to Canada and our allies. In working with domestic and international partners, at home and through Canadian missions abroad, the CBSA assists in identifying persons who may be inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) including, but not limited to: security violations under section 34 of the IRPA (espionage, subversion, terrorism, membership, acts of violence); human or international rights violations under section 35 of the IRPA (war crimes, crimes against humanity); and organized criminality under section 37 of the IRPA (organized criminal activity, transnational crime).

Under the INSSP, the CBSA is responsible for screening temporary and permanent resident applicants, including refugees from abroad selected for resettlement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as well as mandatory security screening on all adult in-Canada asylum claimants, including those who present themselves at a Canadian port of entry. Security screening applications for temporary and permanent resident applicants are referred to the CBSA on the basis of established indicators which are mutually agreed upon by security partners.

The INSSP is conducted through coordination with Government of Canada stakeholders, including IRCC, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), as well as international intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The INSSP represents an integrated approach to national security screening which fosters engagement of multiple internal and external partners to protect Canada's economy, national security, public safety and environment from threats across our physical and virtual borders.

Immigration security screening process

The immigration national security screening process includes the collection and analysis of biographic and biometric information from a variety of partners and sources, including open-source and classified systems, relating to a foreign national's admissibility to Canada. These include mandatory database checks of Government of Canada and international partner systems, research and analysis conducted on the information derived from each and a final recommendation of admissibility which is provided to the decision-makers; IRCC for Temporary Resident and Permanent Resident applications, as well as CBSA and IRCC for Refugee Claimants.

Performance expectations are measured through service standards which have been established in accordance with the line of business an application is processed under. Adherence to these service standards is affected by a variety of factors, including but not limited to: file complexity, availability of information required to complete screening, partner collaboration and volumes of files received. INSSP is steadily seeing a return to pre-pandemic volumes of immigration security screening requests across all business lines and anticipates the lifting of COVID restrictions, as well as the increase in disruptive global events driving irregular migration will continue to influence volumes received. The volumes of requests, divided by business line, are included in the chart below for Fiscal Years 2018 to 2019 (the last period unaffected by the pandemic) through 2021 to 2022.

Fiscal year Temporary residence Permanent residence Refugee claimant Total
2021 to 2022 10,969 16,065 27,570 54,604
2020 to 2021 6,397 9,421 11,153 26,971
2019 to 2020 46,193 15,561 47,167 108,921
2018 to 2019 59,834 14,678 42,077 116,589

Program support and development

Immigration security screening has been a critical function in support of the Afghanistan and Ukraine Special Immigration Measures (ASIM/USIM), programs developed by the Government of Canada to assist in facilitating the evacuation of citizens of these countries in light of the degradation of the security environments in each. INSSP continues to prioritize support of these measures through urgent processing timelines imposed on applications received under the ASIM/USIM programs. Immigration security screening requests under these measures continue to be received.

The CBSA has implemented and is continuing to explore initiatives designed to streamline effectiveness and maximize efficiency of the program. This includes the development of the Security Screening Automation Project, which aims to automate the processing of low-risk cases and better enable security screening officers to focus attention on more complex immigration cases involving persons who may pose a national security risk. This system will supplement the current immigration security screening framework and achieve more comprehensive and timely admissibility recommendations through the anticipated efficiencies.

Immigration Detention

Immigration detention is governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and its regulations. When CBSA officers have reasonable grounds to believe that an individual is inadmissible to Canada and is either a danger to the public, a flight risk, or unable to provide valid and acceptable identification, the officer can exercise their legal authority to arrest and detain permanent residents of Canada or foreign nationals to complete further examination.

CBSA officers are guided in their duties by jurisprudence, internal policies, directives and guidelines. Canada's immigration detention program is based on the principle that detention shall be used only as a measure of last resort, in limited circumstances, such as where an individual is considered to be a danger to the public, a flight risk or where their identity has not been established, and only after appropriate alternatives to detention are considered and determined to be unsuitable or unavailable. Immigration detention is an administrative measure which is never intended to be punitive in nature. It is exercised to ensure the integrity of the immigration system and public safety.

Within Canada, a CBSA Inland Enforcement Officer may, in accordance with the IRPA, arrest and detain a permanent resident or foreign national, with or without a warrant, where there are reasonable grounds to believe that individual is inadmissible to Canada. At a port of entry (POE), a CBSA Border Services Officer may also detain and arrest an inadmissible permanent resident or foreign national, with or without a warrant, at the conclusion of the examination, and may detain the individual if it is considered necessary for the examination to be completed, or if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the individual is inadmissible on grounds of security, violating human or international rights, serious criminality, criminality or organized criminality.

In cases where a permanent resident or foreign national is detained, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), an independent decision-maker authorized to review the legal grounds for maintaining the detention, will conduct a detention review within 48 hours of the initial detention or without delay afterwards, in order to review the reasons for continued detention. If detention is continued, further detention reviews will be conducted at least once during the next seven days and thereafter, at least once during each 30-day period. The Minister of Public Safety is represented during a detention review by a CBSA Hearings Officer; the client may be represented by legal or other counsel. If the client is under 18 years of age or unable, in the opinion of the IRB, to appreciate the nature of the proceedings, the IRB may designate a person to represent the client.

Before the first detention review by the IRB, CBSA officers may allow the individual's release from detention, with or without conditions the officer may consider necessary. The Alternatives to Detention program includes various options that officers may consider imposing upon release, but these are non-exhaustive. However, once the 48-hour detention review has started, the CBSA loses its authority to release a person from detention and may only make a recommendation to the IRB.

Prior to , alternatives to detention consisted of releasing a permanent resident or foreign national with various terms and conditions including reporting conditions, release to a guarantor with a cash deposit or guarantee, and in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), acceptance into a community supervision program. Since , the CBSA expanded its alternative to detention options, which now also includes: an expanded community case management and supervision program, national voice reporting and an electronic monitoring program, which uses ankle bracelets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Quebec regions. The electronic monitoring program will be expanded to the Prairie region, specifically Calgary and Edmonton, by . Since the launch of the expanded program, there have been over 22,500 instances of individuals using these alternatives. In 2021 to 2022, 41% of detainees were released on alternatives to detention.

The CBSA operates three immigration holding centres (IHCs) in Toronto (ON), Laval (QC), and Surrey (BC). While the CBSA tries to maximize its use of the IHCs for detained permanent residents and foreign nationals in regions where they are available, the Agency also has agreements with provincial correctional facilities (PCFs) for the use of their facilities and services where the risk cannot be managed in the IHC or where an IHC is not present in the region. The CBSA's national policy on detention oversight and governance requires that all decisions to place an individual in detention are reviewed by a delegated management representative. From to , the number of individuals who were detained under IRPA in IHCs and PCFs were 2,256 and 818, respectively.

The Government of Canada has made significant investments in these IHCs, which included the replacement of the IHCs in in British Columbia and Quebec, and a retrofit of the existing IHC in Toronto. These investments have allowed the CBSA to reduce the use of provincial facilities, to provide additional medical and mental health care for detainees, and to reduce the number of minors in detention. The CBSA is exploring establishing a new IHC in Alberta in response to the dissolution of the partnership with the Province of Alberta for the housing of immigration detainees in Alberta's PCFs. Moving forward, the CBSA is committed to a nationally consistent, humane and equitable immigration detention program.

The CBSA is committed to addressing recommendations put forward in several reports and studies of its National Immigration Detention Program, including those put forward by Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, and the Canadian Red Cross, who monitor detention conditions. In particular, the CBSA is maintaining its efforts to limit the use of provincial correctional facilities, using a risk management framework to guide detention and release decisions, and ensuring an immigration detention system where persons are treated with compassion and dignity while upholding public safety.

Over the past five years, the CBSA implemented several aspects of the National Immigration Detention Framework (NIDF), which aimed to attain four main objectives: Renewing the detention service model; Ensuring program sustainability; Achieving national consistency; Enhancing infrastructure.

While the CBSA successfully met the objectives of the NIDF, there continues to be ongoing pressures on the detention program, driving the need for continued transformation. For example, there continues to be residual program and national consistency gaps, vulnerability regarding program authority and some reliance on the provinces for care, custody and control of our detainee population. The CBSA has also experienced noticeable evolving needs of its detention population, including mental health issues.

The CBSA is undertaking the development of an Enhanced Immigration Detention Program, to ensure that the detention program is accountable, proactive and fair and transparent, as it is upon these founding principles that the program rests.

To ensure duty of care for immigration detainees, the CBSA aims to establish a self-reliant detention program that meets the needs of a wide range of detainees. This objective is built upon a solid vision statement that acknowledges the complex and dynamic nature of immigration detention.

To address these gaps, the CBSA is defining the end state transformation goals, such as: exploration of additional contracted mental and medical health services, benchmarking with other like-minded countries, as well as with national partners (RCMP, CSC), reviewing workforce training needs and staffing models in the current IHCs, build enhanced infrastructure (immigration holding centres) to ensure the facilities are aligned with the evolving needs of the program and detainee clients and commensurate with the elevated risk levels posed as we reduce reliance on provincial correctional facilities.


The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is mandated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to remove inadmissible foreign nationals as soon as possible. Inland Enforcement Officers (IEOs) have the powers of a peace officer for the purposes of enforcing the IRPA and have the authority to investigate, detain, and remove foreign nationals who are found to be inadmissible to Canada.

To support the Government of Canada's priorities, removals are prioritized based on a risk management regime, with cases involving national security, organized crime, human rights violations and criminality being the highest priority for the safety and security of Canada. This first priority also includes failed irregular migrant asylum seekers that entered between Canada's ports of entry, to ensure program integrity.

The CBSA actively monitors global country conditions, and assesses how they impact the Agency's ability to fulfill its removal mandate. Pursuant to subsection 230(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may impose a Temporary Stay of Removal with respect to a country or geographic region should circumstances in that country or region pose a generalized risk to the entire civilian population. This deemed risk may include armed conflict, environmental disaster resulting in a substantial temporary disruption of living conditions, or any humanitarian crisis that is temporary and generalized in nature. The delegated authorities governing the Administrative Deferral of Removal – a temporary responsive tool applied when it is anticipated that country conditions impacting removals are temporary in nature – rests with the CBSA's Director General, Enforcement Directorate within the Intelligence and Enforcement Branch.

The removals process can be time consuming due to impediments to removal and statutory stays such as judicial review processes. Approximately 70% of all impediments to removal are due to a lack of removal travel documents. This is largely due to recalcitrant countries that impose restrictive administrative protocols or impede the issuance of necessary travel documents. Uncooperative foreign nationals who fail to appear for their removal proceedings or cooperate with the travel document application process also present a significant challenge to the CBSA's ability to achieve its mandate.

Due to an increasing number of individuals arriving to Canada from recalcitrant countries, the complexity level of cases in the removals working inventory has risen from 15% in 2010 to 43% in 2021. This results in greater effort required to enforce removals of these individuals as each foreign government requires different information and documentation to confirm nationality and issue travel documents.

In addition, the COVID-19 global pandemic has also had a significant impact on the Agency's ability to conduct the timely removal of inadmissible foreign nationals. The limited availability of international air carriers, international entry/exit protocols, limited access to removal offices due to provincial medical health authorities, and the willingness of foreign nationals to comply with vaccination protocols needed to enable a removal, have impeded the CBSA removal program.

Further, there has been a prolonged shortage of IEOs in the regions primarily due to the reliance of Inland Operations on the release of officers from Ports of Entry as well as competing priorities such as supporting the refugee influx. In addition, low Officer Induction Training Program output levels have contributed to the shortage of staff.

In response to the Auditor General of Canada's report on Immigration Removals in 2020, the Agency implemented several specific initiatives to improve its overall number and timeliness of removals and to encompass greater voluntary removals incentives, improve data quality, and leverage technology and partnerships in support of more effective removals. These initiatives include:

  • launching a Removals Help Line to assist the voluntary departure from Canada of persons subject to an enforceable removal order
  • developing a new Assisted Voluntary Returns Pilot Project which will incentivize the compliance of in-force removal orders for targeted foreign nationals within the removal inventory who are difficult to return (implementation targeting thrid quarter of 2022 to 2023)
  • developing a training program that will result in improved data integrity and subsequently support the identification of removal-ready cases as early as possible within the removal continuum (implemented in fiscal year 2021 to 2022)
  • completing a comprehensive review of the immigration warrant inventory with a focus on administrative removals, while also developing an improved warrant management strategy to support removal operations going forward. This review enabled the identification of persons subject to an outstanding removal order, but who had left Canada without notifying the CBSA, and supported the closure of these cases for which sufficient evidence of their departure was present

The CBSA also made significant strides to address the challenges that impede the timely and cost-effective removal of inadmissible foreign nationals, including:

  • centralizing functional management of the program
  • increasing systems interoperability with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to obtain needed case results in a timely manner
  • improving data integrity to better manage higher priority cases and cases in which the individual was ready for removal
  • implementing a regulatory authority to administratively confirm removals of persons who departed Canada voluntarily without notifying the CBSA as required

In order to evaluate the removals program's performance and to ensure that cases are processed based on defined priorities, the Agency employs performance objectives to monitor activities against expected outcomes. The removals performance objectives, outlined in the Agency's Departmental Plan Report (DPR), have maintained the same focus over the past several years, with an emphasis on removing cases inadmissible on safety and security grounds. Since introducing the performance objective for the percentage of serious inadmissibility removals in fiscal year 2013 to 2014, the Agency has consistently achieved or surpassed its objective. In regards to overall removals, the CBSA experienced year over year increases from fiscal year [2016 to 2017] to [2020 to 2021]. However, the number of removals in fiscal year 2021 to 2022 decreased to 7,451 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other aforementioned challenges. The performance objective for total removals in fiscal year 2022 to 2023 is set at 16,312, which represents a 219% increase of the prior year's performance.

In response to these challenges and to increase removals, the Agency is working with its regions to develop plans to address the removal backlog as COVID-19 recovery efforts continue. This includes aligning all Immigration Enforcement program areas to support removals by prioritizing work that leads to removal orders or moving cases that already have removal orders through the enforcement continuum more efficiently. In addition, Enforcement Case Officers were introduced to assist in the enforcement of low risk removals. This approach allows the CBSA to redirect IEO efforts on high risk cases and ensure the Agency is able to enforce removals as soon as possible. Lastly, the Agency continues to advance a whole of government approach (with IRCC and Global Affairs Canada) to address bilateral challenges presented by foreign governments and leverages its international like-minded partners in order to identify best practices.

The CBSA is leading regulatory amendments to automatically cancel immigration documents [electronic travel authorizations (eTAs), temporary resident visas (TRVs), temporary resident permits (TRPs), work permits and study permits] held by foreign nationals issued a removal order. These proposed regulatory amendments were pre-published in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on and were subsequently tabled in both the House of Commons and the Senate on and referred to the respective committees, as is required under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). These amendments will proceed for final approval and publication in Canada Gazette Part 2 by Fall 2022.

In addition to these priority amendments, other regulatory amendments listed on the Agency's Forward Regulatory Plan, which may assist with facilitating removals include:

  • Return of Things Seized: streamlines and simplifies processes related to seized items, such as travel documents, required to support removal operations – already in force
  • Findings of Fact: Organized Criminality: leverages Canadian court rulings in inadmissibility determinations to generate efficiencies in securing related removal orders for these low volume, but high priority cases (Fall 2022)
  • Minister's Delegate (MD) Review: transfers authority to issue removal orders from the Immigration Division (ID) to the MD in the following cases: misrepresentation on an eTA; failure to appear for a medical examination; and failure to appear for a port of entry examination, thereby resulting in faster removal order issuance and removal from ports of entry while reinforcing the importance of Canadian laws intended to support public health (Fall 2022)
  • Recovery of Removal Costs: amendments will update the fees to account for the actual costs of removals to be recovered, which have not been updated since 1993. This change will also eliminate the current geographic-based distinction, create a framework that will distinguish between escorted removals, non-escorted removals and when detention is required to support removal. All costs recovered will continue to be allocated to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. (Fall 2022)

Intelligence and Risk Assessment Programs

The Intelligence and Risk Assessment Programs develop information and intelligence and disseminate products to decision-makers – from front-line officers to senior executives, regarding immediate and future border-related threats that fall within the CBSA's mandate.

The Intelligence Program

The Intelligence Program collects information using the full spectrum of tradecraft (including surveillance and confidential human source development activities), interprets and analyzes the information and produces border-related intelligence products on high-risk entities, (people, goods, and/or conveyances) that may pose a threat to Canada's citizens, security and economy.

It provides timely, accurate, and actionable intelligence at all levels (strategic, operational and tactical) to support the Government of Canada's intelligence priorities and works cooperatively and collaboratively with domestic and international law enforcement and intelligence organizations in achieving its goals. The program focuses on: transnational organized crime; threats to national security (for example, terrorism, war crimes, weapon and dual-use technology proliferation); contraband, including illicit narcotics and firearms; trade fraud and trade-based money laundering; currency and monetary instruments smuggling; immigration fraud and irregular migration, including the use of fraudulent travel and identify documents.

CBSA intelligence actively collaborates with members of Canada's intelligence community in achieving common goals and in the development of intelligence products (such as threat assessments, lookouts, alerts, scientific reports, and strategic intelligence assessments) to inform and enhance the Agency's security screening and targeting capabilities, and to identify high risk entities at ports of entry. Intelligence also supports all areas of the CBSA including immigration enforcement, criminal investigations, and commercial and traveller processing.

The Risk Assessment Program ("Targeting")

The National Targeting Center (NTC) assesses information, data, and intelligence to identify people, goods or conveyances bound for Canada that may pose a risk to Canadian security and safety. Using sophisticated data analytics and deductive reasoning, risk assessments are completed in furtherance of CBSA's responsibilities under the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and other government department legislation and regulations.

Potential threats to Canada are referred for examination at the earliest point in the travel continuum (for example, prior to boarding in the case of airline travellers or upon arrival at a port of entry).

The NTC also specializes in data analytics specific to the intelligence and targeting programs. The Advanced Data Centre, within the NTC, manipulates and analyzes data to identify trends and anomalies in support of urgent and day-to-day operations.

In an effort to improve effectiveness, the NTC has begun a significant transformation, using advances in data analytics, automation and artificial intelligence to improve the Agency's ability to achieve more precise risk assessments, and to increase the disruption of border threats at the earliest point in the travel-trade continuum.

Both the intelligence and risk assessment programs involve close collaboration with domestic and international partners. Focusing on threats such as irregular migration at the border, human smuggling, human trafficking, drug smuggling and trade-based money laundering, the CBSA has built a robust intelligence and risk assessment operation.

Organized crime

Organized crime groups are active within more than one smuggling or border exploitation activity in order to maximize their profits. Intelligence officers and analysts work with domestic and international partners in identifying, and documenting information related to these groups so that entities can be targeted and interdicted, their goods seized, and those responsible arrested.

Disruption of a group's activities is one of the CBSA's key enforcement priorities with a particular focus on firearms and illicit drugs. To this end, the CBSA (on behalf of the Canadian Government) is leading the Cross-Border Firearms Task Force, announced in . This CBFTF aims to strengthen bilateral intelligence sharing and enforcement efforts across the US-Canada border. Other task force members include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

The CBSA is also participating in efforts led by Public Safety Canada's to re-establish the Canada-United States Cross-Border Crime Forum, which facilitates cooperation among law enforcement bodies on both sides of the border.

Integrity of Canada's Immigration Program

A key priority of the CBSA's Intelligence Program is supporting the protection and integrity of Canada's immigration program by identifying immigration consultants engaged in fraud and supporting CBSA's criminal investigations in disrupting the illicit activities. This program identifies fraudulent documents, persons holding documents obtained fraudulently, irregular migration activities and other threats to the system. The Intelligence Program also works closely with CBSA Criminal Investigators to identify and disrupt human trafficking and human smuggling networks.

To combat the use of fraudulent travel and identity documents, the National Document Centre develops intelligence to understand fraud trends to support domestic and international interdiction efforts.

Integrity of Canada's supply-chain continuum

The CBSA's intelligence efforts under this enforcement priority include leading the Government of Canada's Trade Fraud and Trade-Based Money Laundering Centre Section, housed within the Intelligence, Collection, Analysis and Production Division (ICAP). In collaboration with CBSA partners, this section protects the supply-chain continuum by detecting trade fraud and ensuring the trade program is not exploited for criminal purposes.

The Intelligence and Risk Assessment Programs also identify and disrupt the movement of illicit contraband through supply-chain exploitation, and identify the perpetrators involved.

Criminal Investigations

The CBSA's Criminal Investigations (CI) Program supports public safety and economic prosperity objectives by investigating and pursuing the prosecution of those who commit criminal offences against Canada's border legislation. As the criminal enforcement arm of the CBSA, the primary focus of the CI Program is the detection, redress, and deterrence of offences under the Agency's program legislation, primarily the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The CI Program addresses serious contraventions of border legislation by pursuing criminal prosecution when such contraventions cannot be sufficiently addressed by regulatory sanctions.

The CI Program focuses on investigating large and often complex smuggling and fraud schemes. The Program priorities are derived from the Agency's approved enforcement priorities, and currently include firearms smuggling, trade fraud (including trade-based money laundering), immigration fraud perpetrated by consultants or other facilitators, and human smuggling. Successful criminal investigations and prosecutions result in penal consequences (criminal record, imprisonment, court fines, prohibitions, etc.) for these offences. Given the nature of cross-border criminal activities, the CBSA often conducts its investigations in conjunction with its law enforcement partners, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial or local policing agencies, and through the sharing of information with foreign border agencies when necessary and appropriate.

CBSA Investigators are peace officers under the Criminal Code of Canada. Investigators employ various Criminal Code provisions to investigate Customs Act and IRPA offences. These provisions include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

  • obtain judicial authorization to execute search warrants, general warrants, and production orders throughout Canada (for example, at locations other than ports of entry)
  • arrest with and without a warrant
  • compel an accused to attend court

While the CBSA conducts investigations and lays charges or recommends the laying of charges, counsel from the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) are responsible for providing prosecution-related services. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the CBSA and PPSC governs each organization's respective financial and operational mandates at both the investigative and prosecution stages, enabling both organizations to operate in an independent but collaborative manner.

As with all law enforcement agencies, the search and forensic analysis of electronic media has become a central component of the vast majority of criminal investigations conducted by the CBSA. The need for this capability will continue to grow with the increasing use of digital devices that may store evidence of criminal offences. The CBSA CI workforce includes professionally-trained Digital Forensic Investigators who employ accepted forensic practices to identify, extract, analyze and preserve evidence from digital devices and media seized during investigations. Within context of criminal investigations conducted by the CBSA, judicial authorizations are used to seize and search electronic media. This is different from the examination of digital devices at a port of entry, where Border Services Officers undertake such examinations under regulatory authorities, with objective of assessing admissibility of people and goods into Canada.

The CI Program is comprised of approximately 230 regional personnel, including Investigators and their management teams operating within Criminal Investigations Sections within each of the Agency's seven regions. Consistent with the CBSA Functional Management Model, the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) within the Intelligence and Enforcement (I&E) Branch headquarters has responsibility over the policies governing criminal investigations, partnership management, performance reporting, and the monitoring of jurisprudence. For example, the CID at headquarters is currently leading a working group of representatives from across the Agency to advance policies and procedures to improve the reporting of relevant employee conduct information that may impact prosecutions, in line with the Supreme Court of Canada's constitutional ruling in R. v. McNeil.

The CI Program is advancing several key initiatives to modernize its investigative tradecraft while increasing efficiency and effectiveness. Although work on many of these initiatives has been ongoing for some time, the objectives and individual initiatives are highly aligned with the recent I&E Branch Business and Digital Transformation Strategy. For example, the Major Case Management (MCM) model will be adopted as the standard investigative method for conducting complex criminal investigations. MCM is comprised of a centralized coordinating body, investigative standards, and common case management technology for all participants during the investigation. With the adoption of MCM, the CI Program will be well-positioned to conduct large-scale joint-investigations with law enforcement partners across Canada. Similarly, the Program is pursuing the acquisition of modern disclosure software to support efficient management and disclosure of voluminous evidence, in accordance with court expectations.

The CI program has been successful in achieving its mandate as the majority of its prosecutions have resulted in a conviction. The percentage of concluded prosecutions that resulted in a conviction from 2017 to 2022 are:

  • 2017 to 2018: 84%
  • 2018 to 2019: 92%
  • 2019 to 2020: 90%
  • 2020 to 2021: 85%
  • 2021 to 2022: 84%

The Internal Audit and Program Evaluation Directorate (IAPED) is currently undertaking a scheduled Internal Evaluation of the CI Program. IAPED anticipates presenting the final evaluation report to the Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee (PMEC) in or .

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