A new pilot program between the U.S. and Canadian governments allows U.S. Customs Officers to work on Canadian soil to pre-inspect truck shipments. The program, Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, will attempt to reduce congestion and wait times at border crossings both for tourists and for companies shipping from Canada to the U.S.
A statement from the Department of Homeland Security recently announced, "Beyond the Border articulates a shared approach to security in which both countries work together to address threats within, at, and away from our borders, while expediting lawful trade and travel."
According Michelle James, U.S. Customs and Border Protection field operations director in Seattle, the first inspection booth is amongst the cargo trucks queuing at the Pacific Highway crossing near Blaine, Washington.
According to James, the goal is to identify "If we do the pre-inspection in advance on the Canadian side... can we allow for that truck to flow through that port without having to stop." The goal, according to James, is to expedite the process and decrease congestion at the border a welcome move for trucking logistics companies and the customers they serve.
The pre-inspections are occurring on an experimental basis for about six months, and will be reevaluated this fall.