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Governments testing travellers' info exchange (con't)

The Phase I pilot was aimed strictly at “third-country nationals” (non-Canadian and US citizens), permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens, and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are not Canadian citizens, crossing the border at four land ports of entry.

This was an “important first step” in Canada and the United States moving towards “establishing a common and integrated approach” to managing the border, according to Diana Scott, a CBSA spokeswoman.

This allowed the countries to “successfully test the concept of a records exchange” and “reconcile biographic data on travellers” so that a record of entry to one country “could be considered as a record of exit from the other.”

"In particular, Canada reconciled 94.5% of the records received from the United States and was able to identify possible overstays," Scott said.

Phase II began June 30, 2013.

This phase collects entry data on the same group of travellers as Phase I – “third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada who are not US citizens and lawful permanent residents of the US who are not Canadian citizens” – and at all major land border crossings.

But while data gathering is more comprehensive in Phase II “there will be no information knowingly shared on Canadian or US citizens for this phase,” Scott said.

Beyond 2013, the U.S. and Canada will continue to move forward on their previously agreed objectives under what’s called the Beyond the Border Action Plan. 

But the eventual objective is “a fully phased-in entry/exit system that will strengthen border and immigration programs, law enforcement, and accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods,” Scott said.

Prior to the Beyond the Border Action Plan, Canada and the United States did not exchange records of entries on any travellers.


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