Canada-United States framework for the movement of goods and people across the border during and following an emergency

The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada (hereinafter Public Safety Canada) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are:

Resolved, in the event of an incident affecting our shared border, to facilitate coordinated, cooperative and timely border management decision-making to mitigate impacts on our citizens and our economies; and

Committed to working together to manage the reasonable movement of goods and people across the Canada-United States border during and following emergencies.


This Framework applies in the event of an incident that contributes to significant border disruption, requires national level engagement, and meets one or more of the following scenarios:

  1. An attack or threat of attack to the United States or Canada by terrorists;
  2. A natural or man-made incident, including a pandemic or other health incident, that impacts large numbers of citizens and/or affects Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources of national interest to one or both countries; or
  3. Federal, State, Local, Provincial, Territorial or U.S. Tribal Governments request national-level assistance through existing procedures;


Consistent with existing coordination and information sharing protocols:

Border Management

In the event of an incident, as defined above, Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are resolved to take steps to ensure that Canada and the United States have activated their respective decision-making processes to manage the movement of goods and people across the border.

The Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, and the Deputy Secretary of the U.S.  Department of Homeland Security, are committed to maintaining communications and facilitating:

  1. Measures needed to respond to, and recover from the emergency; and
  2. Movement of goods and people across the border, as determined by each country.

This Framework is not intended to supersede any statutory authorities or to create any binding obligations under domestic or international law.  This Framework is intended to be consistent with the policies in place in each country, and other joint plans including the December 2008 Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Emergency Management Cooperation.

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