04/17/15 10:09AM | Category: Borders
On February 4, 2011, United States President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Beyond the Border Declaration, which was intended to be a joint effort to improve the security and economic prosperity of the two countries. The Beyond the Border Action Plan, released in December 2011, defined the specific tasks necessary to carry out this land, sea, and air border screening initiative. One such proposed program was a Cargo Pre-Inspection process through which commercial entries at a land port of entry (LPOE) can be pre-screened on the Canadian side of the border prior to arriving at the U.S. inspection plaza. The ultimate intention of this objective is to reduce commercial wait times and port congestion while maintaining the security requirements necessary at an international border.
The initial stage of implementing this pre-inspection program was to conduct a Cargo Pre-Inspection Pilot designed to evaluate the efficacy of this concept by collecting sample data and evaluating the potential impacts on the border wait times. The pilot program was implemented in a two-phase approach. Phase 1 was launched in June 2013 at the Pacific Highway LPOE in Blaine, WA. This initial phase was designed as a “proof of concept” approach in which only commercial entries enrolled in the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program were eligible to participate. The operational component of Phase II of the pilot program began February 18, 2014 at the Peace Bridge LPOE in Buffalo, NY and concluded on January 20, 2015.
In support of the Cargo Pre-Inspection Pilot, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requested that REGAL evaluate the pilot program to determine the true efficiencies gained and forecast the potential benefits if the pre-inspection were to be fully implemented. REGAL conducted several site surveys of current operations and used the BorderWizardTM modeling tool to simulate and analyze the anticipated pre-inspection program at full implementation. In addition, analysts also evaluated various alternative approaches to reducing cargo wait times at the border. REGAL remains heavily involved in this continual effort to assist CBP and their partners to optimize the border crossing experience for everyone involved.
Read the following articles to learn more about the Peace Bridge pilot program: