Shippers are expected to save time and money through the elimination of rescreening cargo on passenger aircraft traveling between the U.S. and Canada.
The security agreement announced Thursday is part of a larger push by the two countries to foster more trade by speeding the movement of cross-border cargo and harmonizing regulation. The pact between the world’s largest trading partners comes as an agreement in which the U.S. and European Union recognize each other’s security measures, eliminating double screening.
Under the U.S.-Canada agreement, air cargo will only be screened at the point of origin, saving shippers the hassle of having to have shipments screened once again at the destination. Roughly half of air cargo shipments in Canada are shipped on passenger planes, according to the release announcing the agreement, and the country imported and exported about $100 billion worth of goods by air in 2011.
“The mutual recognition of air cargo security programs is just one of the first initiatives in the Beyond the Border Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama,” said James Nealon, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy, in a written statement. “Through this program, we will be able to move goods between U.S. and Canada faster, more efficiently, and most securely.”