The Government of Canada Proposes Amendments to the Customs Act to Strengthen Border Security
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Ottawa, Ontario, February 15, 2008 - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, today took another step to enhance Canada's border security and prosperity by introducing amendments to the Customs Act in the House of Commons.
"Stopping illegal activity and protecting Canadians from threats to their health, safety and security is a key priority for this Government," said Minister Day. "These changes give Canada Border Services Agency officers the information, tools and flexibility they need to detect threats and tackle crime, while ensuring that legitimate trade and travellers can cross the border efficiently."
The amendments will make it mandatory for all businesses involved in the import trade chain to provide the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with electronic data on their shipments before the goods reach Canada. With this advance information, the CBSA will be able to make better decisions about the admissibility of the goods, including whether the goods pose a risk to Canadians.
Other amendments will enable the CBSA to fully implement "customs controlled areas," which will provide border services officers with the flexibility to examine goods and question and search people anywhere within those areas, as opposed to only at exit points as in the current Act.
"Enhancing border security is a key priority for our Government," said Minister Day. "Our Government has made significant investments in support of a smart, secure and trade-efficient border. For example, it has invested $430 million to upgrade border infrastructure and security. It is arming 4,800 CBSA officers and hiring 400 new officers to eliminate situations where they have to work alone. Today's announcement further demonstrates our Government’s commitment to strengthen the integrity of our border."
The proposed amendments are available at www.parl.gc.ca.
For media information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
Minister of Public Safety
CBSA Media Relations - Northern Ontario Region (including Nunavut)