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Canada, U.S. announce cargo security changes

June 1, 2012, Ottawa - On Thursday, Canada and the United States announced that both governments have agreed to the mutual recognition of, and cooperation on, air cargo security in both countries.


June 1, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Mr. James D. Nealon, Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy on behalf of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole, made the announcement.

Under the new mutual recognition initiative, cargo shipped on passenger aircraft will now be screened only once for transportation security reasons, at the point of origin and will not need to be rescreened prior to upload on an aircraft in the other country. This will reduce delays and economic costs caused by both countries screening the same cargo twice.

"With our vast geography, Canada's economy relies on the safe and efficient movement of goods by air. Mutual recognition of air cargo security programs will improve efficiency and cut costs for businesses and consumers on both sides of the border," said Minister Lebel.

"The mutual recognition of air cargo security programs is just one of the first initiatives in the Beyond the Border Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama," added Deputy Chief of Mission, Nealon. "Through this program, we will be able to move goods between U.S. and Canada faster, more efficiently, and most securely."

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In Canada, almost half of all air cargo is shipped on passenger planes, which is the most effective shipping method, considering Canada's size and unique geography. Last year, approximately 100 billion dollars of goods were imported and exported by air.

The Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan, published in December 2011, establishes initiatives to improve the ability to manage security risks in both countries, while reducing the burden on business. The action plan focuses on four areas:  addressing threats early; facilitating trade, economic growth and jobs; integrating cross border law enforcement; and strengthening critical infrastructure and cyber security.