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New Canada–U.S. Preclearance Agreement Comes into Force, Opening Door to Enhanced Travel and Trade

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August 16, 2019

On August 15, 2019, Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that both countries have brought into force the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America.

Preclearance is the process by which border officers from Canada or the U.S. carry out customs and immigration inspections and other requirements in the other country before allowing the movement of goods or people across the border.  This Agreement enables Canada and the U.S. to expand preclearance for travellers at land, rail and marine facilities in both countries, as well as at additional airports. It also opens the door for the preclearance of commercial cargo.

This agreement is fully reciprocal across all modes of transportation, enabling Canadian preclearance officers to conduct preclearance in the U.S. and U.S. CBP officers to conduct preclearance in Canada. The authorities granted in the Agreement will apply equally to Canadian preclearance officers working in the U.S. and U.S. preclearance officers working in Canada.

Preclearance strengthens our economy by expediting the flow of legitimate travel and trade while also ensuring security and border integrity.

Canada and the United States have a long history of successful preclearance operations, with almost 15 million passengers a year currently precleared for flights to the United States from Canada’s eight largest airports.

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