Smart Border Declaration and Action Plan
Since 2001, the Smart Border Declaration and its accompanying Action Plan have built stronger border cooperation between Canada and the United States. The vision was to develop a 21st century border that advanced both facilitation of movement and security. It is founded on the principle that national security and economic security are not competing objectives.
The Declaration was put into practice through the implementation of the 30-point Smart Border Action Plan. The Action Plan has served as a model internationally for successful border management and cooperation. In effect, the Smart Border process has become widely recognized by the public, industry and other governments as a model of success.
The Smart Border Action Plan has four pillars:
- Secure flow of people
The secure flow of people is about separating low risk travellers from high risk travellers and facilitating the movement of those who pose little risk to our security. For example, Canada and the U.S. have established NEXUS, a voluntary program for facilitating the low-risk movement and people. NEXUS is in place at 11 high-volume border crossings, and will be extended to air travellers through the implementation of NEXUS-Air.
- Secure flow of goods
The secure flow of goods is organized around a similar principle. In partnership with the private sector, we use advanced information and technology to identify and expedite low-risk shipments across the border. For example, the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program facilitates the cross-border movement of low-risk, pre-approved commercial goods and truck drivers. FAST is now operational at the 12 highest-volume commercial border crossings. It is complemented by the bilateral Container Security Initiative.
- Investing in secure infrastructure
The Government of Canada is investing $665 million to protect and improve our air, marine and land gateways. The U.S. Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century also funds transportation projects along U.S. corridors and at border points along the Canada-United States border. The two countries continue to enhance border infrastructure to better support programs like NEXUS and FAST as demonstrated by the scheduled expansion of dedicated FAST lanes to the Pacific Highway and the Ambassador Bridge.
- Coordination and information sharing in the enforcement of these objectives
Canada and the U.S. have established Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETS) to jointly investigate cross-border criminal and terrorist activity. There are now IBETs operating in 15 regions along the border.