FORT ERIE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 24, 2014) - Public Safety Canada
Today, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Steven Blaney; Canada's Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Robert Nicholson; U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas; U.S. Senator for New York, Charles E. Schumer; and U.S. Congressman for Western New York, Brian Higgins, officially launched Phase II of the truck cargo pre-inspection pilot at the Peace Bridge crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. The pilot is a key deliverable under the Beyond the Border Action Plan issued by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama in December 2011.
Canada and the U.S. are using the pilot to test the concept of conducting U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) primary inspection of U.S.-bound truck cargo in Canada in order to better manage their shared border and improve economic opportunities for both countries.
Minister Blaney, Minister Nicholson, Deputy Secretary Mayorkas and Congressman Higgins toured the CBP truck cargo pre-inspection area in order to see first-hand how pre-inspection will work with a view to alleviate the challenges travellers and truck traffic face with congestion when crossing the bridge.
- In March 2013, Canada and the U.S. signed the Memorandum of Understanding that enabled the U.S. CBP truck cargo pre-inspection pilot project to take place on Canadian soil. Phase I of the pilot was launched at the Pacific Highway crossing between Surrey, British Columbia and Blaine, Washington in June 2013.
- The objective of pre-clearance is to expedite the flow of legitimate trade and travel while ensuring border security and integrity.
- This is of prime importance to the Governments of Canada and the U.S., which have some of the highest levels of cross-border trade and travel in the world - activities that are vital to the economic prosperity of both nations.
"The Governments of Canada and the U.S. are ensuring the efficient flow of legitimate travellers and goods across our shared border. I am pleased with the success of Phase I at the Pacific Highway Crossing in British Columbia and that we are now launching Phase II of this important Beyond the Border Action Plan initiative."
- The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"This pilot project will enhance the movement of people and goods across the Canada-U.S. border. I am very pleased that Phase II is taking place in Fort Erie, where cross-border travel and trade is essential."
- The Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, MP (Niagara Falls)
"The commencement of this pilot is another key Beyond the Border success. The joint efforts of the United States and Canada are key to expediting the secure flow of commerce and improving the economic opportunity of our two countries."
- Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
"Today is a banner day for Western New York, its commuters, restaurants, businesses, sports teams, residents and more. It's been a long road getting the Peace Bridge chosen as one of only two pilot sites in the country for pre-clearance of commercial truck traffic on the Canadian side, but I am confident it will prove worth the wait. Starting today, the pilot program will make history in Western New York, and if it's successful, could lead to its permanence and the relocation of all truck inspections to Ontario."
- Charles E. Schumer, United States Senator for New York
"The United States and Canada have long enjoyed a strong binational partnership further bolstered by the Beyond the Border agreement. Pre-inspection saw success during phase I and holds great promise of facilitating a more efficient flow of goods, delivering environmental benefits and reducing congestion for all crossing the bridge. A more predictable border serves to grow the already deeply connected economies of Western New York and Southern Ontario supporting jobs and businesses on both sides of the bridge."
- Brian Higgins, Congressman, New York-26, Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Northern Border Caucus
"The Peace Bridge Authority has long-championed the pre-inspection concept, as it provides a truly innovative, technology-driven solution to border management. When fully implemented beyond the pilot phase-which we hope to be the positive conclusion of this testing effort-the concept will provide real, immediate, and much-needed congestion relief at the Peace Bridge corridor. Pre-inspection can vastly improve the way our border functions, without sacrificing the security, sovereignty, or trade prowess of Canada and the United States."
- Anthony Annunziata, Chairman, Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
"The trucking industry has a keen interest in the facilitation of shipments of goods across the Canada-US border while maintaining security. The Peace Bridge pilot is indicative of innovative new thinking and its outcome is therefore of great importance to us and to the world's largest bilateral trade relationship. We look forward to the opportunity to be part of the process when the pilot is assessed."
- David H. Bradley, President, Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Ontario Trucking Association
"The Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance applauds Pre-Inspection as a transformational initiative of the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan that enhances the dynamics of a secure border inspection process that delivers expediting of Trusted Trader border crossing."
- James D. Phillips. President and CEO, The Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance
"The program has the potential to dramatically reduce wait times at one of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the U.S. Its successful implementation will go a long way towards making our shared border more efficient."
- Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Beyond the Border Action Plan
- Canada and the United States announce Truck Cargo Pilot
- Truck Cargo Pre-inspection Pilot to Begin
- Phase I of Cargo Pre-inspection Pilot Concludes
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For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.