Andres Leon is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of North America.
Update: April 20, 2015: This post was updated to provide additional information about “preclearance.”
The United States and Canada have a $1.3 trillion trade and investment relationship. The broad scope of U.S.-Canadian bilateral relations includes extensive economic, cultural, and educational ties with nearly $2 billion in two-way trade in goods and services, and more than 300,000 border crossings each day.
As a result, the United States and Canada signed a historic cross-border agreement on March 16, 2015 that will further benefit travelers and enhance trade in North America. The Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Between the Government of the United States and the Government of Canada, also known as “Preclearance,” creates the opportunity for requests for new preclearance locations and enables exploration of co-location at small and remote ports of entry. It also enables Canada to request the conversion of immigration pre-inspection sites at cruise, rail, and ferry terminals in British Columbia to full preclearance.
Preclearance customs inspection points have reduced waiting times and congestion at designated points of entry, while also strengthening security along the U.S.-Canada border. The Preclearance agreement also provides a framework to expand Preclearance sites, which will further facilitate trade and tourism in one of the most active economic regions in the world.
The Preclearance signing is yet another milestone for the Beyond the Border initiative that was announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper in 2011 in an effort to provide a shared approach to perimeter security and economic competitiveness. To learn more about Preclearance benefits and locations, visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection.