On January 26, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will join other customs agencies around the world in marking International Customs Day. Each year, the World Customs Organization adopts a new theme. This year’s theme is “nurturing the next generation by promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in customs”, one that resonates well with the CBSA, as we move into celebrating our 20th year anniversary this year.
Our Agency sits among world leaders in promoting effective and efficient border management practices, and prides itself on the professionalism of its employees and frontline officers. The improvements we are making will contribute to developing the next generation of customs officers, which will help us to continue to succeed in the coming years.
We embrace a culture of knowledge and information sharing, and value our key domestic and international partnerships. After all, border management is a shared global responsibility. The threats and opportunities arising from migration and digitization, that we and our partners face, are dealt with most effectively by working together.
We are also making important changes at Canada’s ports of entry, such as leveraging new technology for travellers and conveyances, with the aim of reducing wait times. Data-driven approaches are helping us to facilitate the smooth flow of cross-border travel and trade, while intercepting illicit goods.
Key CBSA enforcement highlights, between January 1 and December 31, 2022, include:
- Kept over 1,100 firearms and 24,400 prohibited weapons off our streets
- Intercepted over 409,714 kg of tobacco preventing revenue evasion
- Made 46,907 seizures
- Seized 41,475.5 kg of illegal drugs, including 3,084 kg of Cocaine, 398 kg of Heroin, and 4 kg Fentanyl
Key CBSA initiatives include:
- CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM). CARM offers significant benefits to the trade community and is on track for its Release 2 in October 2023, which will expand the functionalities of the CARM Client Portal launched in May 2021. The Agency continues working towards the full implementation of the new system. As of December 31, 2022, 24,773 Trade Chain Partners have registered on the portal.
- CBSA Advance Declaration. This initiative allows travellers to make their customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of arriving in Canada, in order to save time at airports. It is currently available at six international airports and will be expanded to other airports in the coming months.
- eGates. Launched at Toronto Pearson International Airport for those travelling alone or in small groups to verify their identity and make their customs and immigration declaration faster, the new eGates, combined with the use of Primary Inspection Kiosks, are improving the flow of traffic at the arrivals hall.
- Land Border Crossing Project. This is the largest infrastructure project in the history of the CBSA. This project will see 24 ports of entry upgraded or replaced over seven years. The new sustainable, energy-efficient, and accessible infrastructure will improve service to travellers and commercial importers, as well as working conditions for officers.
- The Secure Corridor Commercial Lane Enhancement project. This project was first launched as a pilot at the Ambassador Bridge, with new technology to reduce crossing time that limits physical interaction between Border Services Officers and commercial drivers. Today, the Ambassador Bridge Secure Corridor lane sees over 1,600 crossings per month, with an average processing time of 32 seconds per truck. In the future, these lanes will be available at other locations, and will help lay the foundation for technological advancements for all commercial clients.