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Pilot mission at Canada US border crossing gives hope for stalled Nexus program

However it additionally means that the times of customs brokers from each nations conducting joint interviews inside a shared house on Canadian soil are seemingly over—at the very least for the foreseeable future.

“Canada and the US proceed discussions in regards to the reopening of Canadian enrollment facilities and are pursuing options to handle the present backlog,” Canada Border Companies Company spokesperson Rebecca Purdy stated in an announcement.

Senior administration officers from each CBSA and US Customs and Border Safety met earlier this month in individual as a part of that ongoing effort, Purdy stated.

“These discussions embrace choices for shorter-term measures that proceed to extend the variety of individuals being issued new or renewed Nexus playing cards every month.”

The pilot mission has been underway since late September on the Thousand Islands bridge crossing between Alexandria Bay, NY, and the Ontario city of Landsdowne, about 50 kilometers east of Kingston, Ont.

Nexus candidates are interviewed in individual by a Canada Border Companies Company officer earlier than crossing the border to sit down down with an agent from US Customs and Border Safety and to be photographed and fingerprinted.

“The CBSA and US CBP are actively exploring the enlargement of this pilot to extra places alongside the border the place demand and capability are biggest.”

It is a far cry from how Nexus interviews have historically been performed in each nations, with candidates sitting down for an in-person interview that is collectively performed by officers from the 2 companies in the identical room.

That course of has been happening as regular within the US since April, when the 13 Nexus facilities south of the border re-opened for joint interviews after a two-year pandemic-driven hiatus.

Customs and Border Safety, nevertheless, will not ship brokers to workers facilities in Canada with out being assured the identical authorized protections they take pleasure in on US soil — a situation the federal authorities in Canada considers a non-starter.

The deadlock became a full-blown diplomatic row in October when Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s US envoy, stated this system was being “held host” to a unilateral try and renegotiate the bilateral preclearance settlement below which Nexus was established.

Enterprise leaders and elected officers in each nations have been urgent the 2 sides to discover a resolution, describing Nexus as a crucial element of the cross-border commerce and industrial ties between Canada and the US

That features a coalition of US lawmakers — Rep. Brian Higgins (DN.Y.), Rep. Invoice Huizenga (R-Mich.), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash. ) — who wrote to their Canadian counterparts earlier this month.

“Trusted-traveller packages, together with Nexus, are crucial instruments in facilitating cross-border journey and commerce. …Nevertheless, the delays in processing new Nexus functions have severely diminished this system’s effectiveness,” they wrote.

The letter cited Customs and Border Safety information that confirmed the present common wait time is 16.5 months for a Nexus software that requires any degree of evaluation.

It goes on to acknowledge “the implications, sensitivities and complicated nature” of the difficulty, which incorporates “the sovereignty of each nations.”

Purdy stated 49,482 new, renewed or substitute Nexus playing cards have been issued between Oct. 6 and Nov. 5 — progress, however a far cry from the backlog of greater than 330,000 functions cited within the Higgins letter.

The pilot mission is paying homage to a proposal floated earlier this month by Scotty Greenwood, chief government of the Canadian American Enterprise Council, who has been amongst these pushing exhausting for a decision.

She stated that concept happened whereas brainstorming with Matt Morrison, the pinnacle of a cross-border financial growth coalition of western US states and Canadian provinces often known as the Pacific Northwest Financial Area.

Greenwood’s council has launched a public consciousness marketing campaign referred to as Save Nexus that encourages guests to the web site savenexus.ca to stress members of Parliament to reopen the enrollment facilities.

The location has generated greater than 1,500 emails to date, stated Greenwood, who urged each companies to be extra clear about their efforts thus far.

“I do not know why that is so exhausting on the Canadian aspect — I actually do not, as a result of there’s a lot profit,” she stated. “The ache factors aren’t on the US aspect, the ache factors are on the Canadian aspect”

She additionally acknowledged that separate in-person interviews seemingly will not be as environment friendly as the prevailing system — and that there is probably not an answer accessible that enables US and Canadian brokers to work alongside one another in Canada.

“The concept of ​​decoupling is one thing that is workable — it is not nearly as good, but it surely’s one thing that might work,” Greenwood stated. “It is not so good as fixing the underlying points, but it surely is perhaps the one factor we will do.”

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