Clearit.ca's Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates
Canada and the U.S. last Monday announced the implementation of several changes to the Trusted Traveler and Trusted Trader programs laid out in the 2011 Beyond the Border Action Plan. They include opening the Customs Self Assessment (CSA) program to American firms registered as non-resident importers; an enhanced CSA-Platinum classification available to importers with effective compliance systems; an eGate pilot project at the Peace Bridge border crossing; and a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) counterpart to the American Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) online portal.
American Importers Can Have Large Impact
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) believes that the ability of American importers to participate in the CSA program is likely to have the biggest impact. The industry group said that because more shippers will be eligible for the program, more shipments will be eligible for the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lane initiative, and that represents a “huge benefit” for trucking companies. The program simplifies border-crossing requirements for approved importers and carriers using a registered driver to transport eligible goods, making the process quicker and cheaper.
The CSA-Platinum designation is offered to importers in the CSA program who can show that their internal controls effectively ensure trade compliance in tariffs and other areas. Since these companies are expected to test their own compliance, CBSA trade verifications will be less common for them. Additionally, they will receive compliance assistance from the CBSA, and the agency has said it will consider waiving monetary penalties for first-offense violations of trade regulations.
The eGate pilot project is designed to speed the transit of NEXUS cardholders through the Fort Erie port of entry.
The new Trusted Trader Portal will accept applications for membership in the CBSA’s Partners in Protection program, which offers streamlined border processes and CBSA help on company security procedures. Businesses that are already members can renew their Trusted Trader status at the site.