OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 06/10/12 -- As part of their commitment under the Beyond the Border Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, Canada and the United States announce the establishment of Binational Port Operations Committees at eight Canadian airports that provide a U.S. preclearance service. This will facilitate legitimate cross-border trade and travel and promote collaboration on overall port management, and also facilitate the existing 20 committees established at land border ports.
In addition, each Binational Port Operations Committee has developed an action plan that includes specific initiatives to improve border management and efficiency. Each action plan looks at enhancing both countries' ability to jointly address operational issues that impact both sides of the border, and facilitate communications during events.
"The establishment of these committees is an essential step to improving overall border management and efficiency," said Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews. "The committees will play an important role in ensuring the safety and security of our borders and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods across the border by creating opportunities for greater interoperability, developing practical tools and sharing best practices."
Binational Port Operations Committees ensure that cooperation and partnering result in: enhanced collaboration on overall port management; coordinated emergency response and preparedness; the opportunity to integrate enforcement efforts; and an improvement to the efficiency of the mitigation strategies for border wait times.
On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama released the Beyond the Border Declaration, articulating a shared vision in which our countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and services across our shared border. The Action Plan, released on December 2011, outlines the specific steps our countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Beyond the Border Declaration.
Consistent with the Beyond the Border Action Plan, a full evaluation of the committees will be conducted by the end of 2012, and in 2013, consideration will be given to expanding to additional land ports of entry, taking into account the results of the full evaluation.
For more information on the Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, please visit the Web site www.borderactionplan.gc.ca.
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