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Navigating the U.S/Canada border gets harder (sometimes), easier (sometimes) but ALWAYS requires your due diligence

By Debbie Dent
Director, Program Services
Border Connect, Inc.


First, let me welcome everyone into 2020.  By the events of the last few weeks of December it’s going to be a year full of border updates and an interesting year for sure!

CTPAT Updates

CTPAT members security profile will be unavailable for updates including submission of your annual review starting March 1, 2020 and remain unavailable for updates until June 1, 2020.  CTPAT will be updating the security profile with the new Minimum-Security Criteria (MSC).

New CTPAT applicants are restricted from making application between Jan. 1, 2020 through June 1, 2020. CTPAT is updating the eligibility requirements and the security profile with the new MSC requirements.  New application notice indicates only to check back in June 2020.

On Dec. 18, 2019 four key highlights were provided in a notice to CTPAT members with the main point of that notice being in paragraph 2 – All CTPAT members will need to comply with the new requirements by January 2020. Since members are on a four-year validation cycle, most members will not undergo a revalidation in 2020 – but all members need to comply with the new requirements by January 2020.

Excel-based files were made available to all members on Dec. 20, 2019. Members will need to become familiar with the new security profile in the portal and use these Excel files as a means to meet compliance in January based on your category of membership.  A separate style Excel is available for each category.

CTPAT Expectation Document along with Instructions and CTPAT Security Profile Questions in Excel format are now available in Public Document Library. These can be downloaded for guidance and use but you can also reach out to your SCSS if you have any questions.

Keep in mind a number of new areas and expanded categories are now included in the proposed new MSC. What should be taken as good news, I guess, is that once you have completed this Excel format and answered all the questions it contains you will simply need to cut and paste to the new MSC when it is finally released on or about June 1, 2020. Where have we heard that before?

CBSA FAST Notice for Trusted Traders

On Dec. 9, 2019 the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) amended the eligibility criteria for Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Membership. Under the expansion of the FAST membership criteria, CBSA will now extend FAST lane eligibility to highway carriers and importers who are solely members of Partners in Protection (PIP) program, rather than requiring them to also be members of Customs Self Assessment (CSA).

Eligible FAST lanes are located in Fort Erie and Sarnia, Ontario and in Manitoba at the Emerson border crossing as well as Pacific Highway, British Columbia. Windsor, Ontario at this time is not accepting PIP-only in the FAST lane. Expansion to Windsor is under consideration in light of the success of the Secure Corridor Concept pilot that is being tested by a select few carriers.

I am certain we will have more news to report in February!

Debbie Dent can be reached at 1-800-596-5176 or by e-mail

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