Canada, US look to make moving goods across border quicker
by Dan Ilika
Changes to FAST pilot program at Blue Water Bridge to expedite process for trusted traders
SARNIA, Ont.—The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says its improving a program aimed at reducing border wait times for goods-movers in southwestern Ontario.
According to the CBSA, changes will be made to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) pilot program at the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia, Ont., to allow Partners in Protection (PIP) and Customs Self Assessment (CSA) trusted traders to use the FAST lanes without being members of both programs.
Previously, FAST-eligible goods-movers were required to be members of both PIP and CSA.
The agency says the program may be made permanent if it proves successful at the Blue Water, which crosses the border into Michigan about 100-kilometres northeast of Detroit.
“With $1.9-billion worth of goods and services crossing our shared border every day, we have a vested interest in reducing barriers to trade,” Sarnia-Lambton MP Patricia Davidson said in a statement.
“The pilot aims to further reduce border wait times for trusted traders thereby strengthening the security and economy of both nations.”
FAST was first implemented in 2002 as a joint initiative between the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
The expansion to the FAST pilot is part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, a joint program developed by the two nations in December 2011 in a bid to expedite legitimate trade and travel and improve security.