On May 12, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency
("CBSA") announced that it is expanding Free and Secure
Trade (FAST) benefits for members of its trusted trader programs.
The FAST Program is a joint Canada–U.S. initiative to enhance
border and trade chain security and make cross-border commercial
shipments simpler and subject to fewer delays. FAST gives members
of the CBSA trusted trader programs access to dedicated lanes and
booths (permitting alternative presentation) at specified ports of
entry that allow them priority access to the border and expedited
The CBSA plans to increase the number of dedicated FAST lanes to
provide low-risk, pre-approved importers, carriers and drivers with
expedited clearance at the border. By winter 2017, dedicated FAST
lanes will be in operation at Fort Erie, Ontario, and at Pacific
Highway, British Columbia. A new FAST lane will be opened at
Emerson, Manitoba by spring 2018.
The CBSA also announced that FAST
Program eligibility requirements will also be expanded at existing
FAST sites in Sarnia and Pacific Highway, and at future sites at
Fort Erie and Emerson. These improvements will expedite commercial
traffic at the border by allowing more trusted traders access to
the FAST benefit. The CBSA provided the following facts:
In 2014, Canada–United States
trade surpassed CAN$680 billion (goods and services), meaning that
nearly $2 billion worth of goods and services crosses the border
daily—over $1 million traded every minute.
Canada and the United States continue
to develop a common approach for Trusted Trader programs that
aligns requirements, enhances member benefits, and facilitates the
cross-border movement of commercial goods.
As of April 2016, the CBSA had over
61,000 registered FAST drivers; 679 FAST-approved carriers and 71
Existing FAST sites in Canada are
located at Windsor, ON; Sarnia, ON; and Pacific Highway, BC.
The CBSA also issued a Backgrounder on Fast and Secure
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
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