Preclearance: Helping keep the Canada–United States Border secure and efficient, while protecting Canadians’ Charter Rights

Canada and the United States share the longest, most open and successful international boundary in the history of the world. While close to $2.5 billion in two-way trade crosses the border each day – benefitting Canadians and Americans alike – each country reserves its sovereign authority to regulate access. We each set and enforce our own rules, and we expect that all of our citizens are treated fairly and that border rules are administered properly, in both directions.

Over 60 years of successful preclearance operations in Canadian airports

Through existing preclearance operations at eight Canadian airports, travellers gain the speed and convenience of flying directly into U.S. airports that aren’t designated as “international,” with customs and immigration facilities. Because of the advantages and the economic benefits, there is strong demand to expand preclearance services.

A new Canada–U.S. agreement was signed and tabled in Parliament in the spring of 2015, laying the groundwork to expand preclearance operations in both directions and in all modes of transportation (air, rail, marine and land) for both passengers and cargo. In the United States, the legislation necessary to implement the agreement was recently passed, while in Canada, Bill C-23 is making its way through the Parliamentary approval process.

Better protecting travellers’ rights

For travellers wishing to enter the United States from Canada, preclearance allows all necessary customs and immigration inspections to be completed while the traveller is still in Canada – and the powers that U.S. border officers exercise under Canadian law are governed by the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Overall, the new Canada–U.S. agreement will enable more preclearance services at more locations across Canada and in more modes of transportation, making travel faster for Canadians and bolstering trade, while also better protecting our rights and increasing security.

For additional information on Canada–U.S. preclearance, visit:

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