Bringing into force the Agreement facilitates opportunities for enhanced travel and trade. It 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.

Background on the Preclearance Process

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for inspecting and making admissibility decisions for people requesting admission into the U.S. Generally, CBP officers conduct this screening of individuals entering at a U.S. port of entry, such as an international airport located in the U.S. However, when the CBP inspection process is at one of the preclearance locations established in six countries, including Canada, Ireland, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates, it is referred to as the preclearance process. CBP officers generally do not need to undertake any additional screening after a traveler has completed the preclearance process abroad and arrives in the United States. The agreement with Canada is reciprocal, meaning that people traveling from the U.S. to Canada now have better access to preclearance facilities established by Canadian immigration officials.

Quick facts

  • Preclearance is the process by which border officers from Canada or the U.S. carry out immigration, customs and agriculture inspections and other requirements in the other country before allowing the movement of goods or people across the border.
  • 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.
  • Canada and the United States share the longest, secure border in the world, over which almost 400,000 people and $2.6 billion worth of goods and services cross daily.