Nexus applicants can shuffle off to Buffalo as Canada, U.S. expand pilot project & More Trending News


WASHINGTON – An experimental bid to rescue the troubled Nexus trusted-traveller program between Canada and the United States has expanded to the Peace Bridge.

Nexus applicants in Canada can now sit down with border brokers on reverse sides of the hyperlink between Fort Erie, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y., New York congressman Rep. Brian Higgins stated Thursday.

That’s a departure from what used to be the usual apply of being interviewed by U.S. and Canadian brokers on the identical time — a course of that hasn’t taken place on Canadian soil since earlier than the pandemic.

The new process on the Peace Bridge crossing is an extension of a pilot project that started in late September on the Thousand Islands crossing between Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and Lansdowne, Ont., simply east of Kingston.

In each places, Nexus applicants in Canada submit to two separate interviews: first on the Canadian aspect with a member of the Canada Border Services Agency, then with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on the American aspect.

“Border management has gotten more complicated than it has to be,” Higgins stated in an announcement.

“The U.S. and Canada are longtime friends with interconnected economies. We need to find ways to break down the barriers at our border to better support the flow of people and goods between neighbours.”

The pilot project is taken into account a partial, short-term answer to the bilateral deadlock that has led to U.S. brokers refusing to employees Nexus enrolment centres on Canadian soil over what they think about insufficient authorized safety.

It’s an “important stopgap,” Higgins stated, however the truth it’s wanted in any respect is proof that the 2 international locations have a good distance to go earlier than Nexus is again to its pre-pandemic energy.

He referred to as it “a reminder that the U.S. and Canada still need to fulfil the potential of the agreement reached in 2015 to facilitate Nexus application procedures in a seamless way to the benefit of both Canadians and Americans.”

The backlog of Nexus purposes in Canada reached as excessive as 350,000 earlier within the fall, however has been slowly declining because the pilot project started. The Canada Border Services Agency officers didn’t instantly present up to date numbers.

Higgins stated as soon as the project is absolutely underway on the Peace Bridge, as many as 500 purposes could possibly be processed there every week.

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

That course of has been happening as regular within the U.S. since April, when the 13 Nexus centres south of the border reopened for joint interviews after a two-year pandemic-driven hiatus.

Customs and Border Protection, nonetheless, received’t ship brokers to employees centres in Canada with out being assured the identical authorized protections they take pleasure in on U.S. soil — a situation the federal authorities in Canada considers a non-starter.

Officials with CBP have up to now refused to remark publicly on the dispute.

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

Business leaders and elected officers in each international locations have been urgent the 2 sides to discover a answer, describing Nexus as a vital part of the cross-border commerce and business ties between Canada and the U.S.

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

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Dec. 1, 2022.


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Nexus applicants can shuffle off to Buffalo as Canada, U.S. expand pilot project

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