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Canada Adding Dedicated FAST Lanes, Expanding Eligibility

Monday, May 16, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Canada Border Services Agency announced May 12 changes that will expedite commercial traffic at the border and allow more low-risk, pre-approved importers, carriers and drivers access to Free and Secure Trade program benefits.

FAST gives members of CBSA trusted trader programs access to dedicated lanes and booths at specified ports of entry that allow them priority access to the border and expedited clearance. FAST lanes and booths are currently in operation at Sarnia and Windsor, Ontario, and Pacific Highway, British Columbia. To be eligible to use FAST when entering Canada, importers and carriers must be members of both the Partners in Protection and Customs Self-Assessment programs, drivers must be FAST or Commercial Driver Registration Program approved, and the load must consist of eligible goods from the United States or Mexico. As of April the CBSA had more than 61,000 registered FAST drivers, 679 FAST-approved carriers and 71 FAST-approved importers.

The CBSA now states that dedicated FAST lanes will be in operation at Fort Erie, Ontario, and Pacific Highway, British Columbia, by winter 2017 and a new FAST lane will be opened at Emerson, Manitoba, by spring 2018. In addition, following a six-month pilot test at Sarnia, the CBSA has decided to expand FAST eligibility at existing and future sites to importers and carriers that are either PIP or CSA members (as opposed to both). Plans for specific infrastructure expansion or modification for each location and for membership expansion are now in development.

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