Canada’s Pre Load Air Cargo Targeting pilot, one of the first steps toward an integrated security agreement between the United States and Canada, is seeking volunteers.
Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are running the project from the National Targeting Center in Ottawa. (Volunteers can sign up at PACT-CFAPC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Interested parties — the program is targeting air cargo supply chain organizations, passenger carriers, all-cargo carriers and freight forwarders — will supply cargo data to Transport Canada and the CBSA for Canada-bound shipments. It’s the same data supplied today, but the pilot just requires the information earlier in the process — before goods are loaded on the plane. Government officials will then conduct risk assessments of the data similar to those used by the U.S. government for its Air Cargo Advance Screening project. The cost of participation, according to an information sheet, is negligible.
According to the information sheet, “This pilot focuses on the CBSA’s mandate and responsibility to support Canada’s national security priorities and facilitate the cross-border movement of legitimate people and goods, including food, plants and animals, as well as, the TC mandate focusing on keeping air, marine, railed and road transportation systems among the safest in the world and worthy of public confidence.”
Joining the program at this voluntary stage will give industry stakeholders input into the final plan, which could become a national program. When the pilot is finished, officials will assess the situation and decide on whether to fully implement the program. According to the information sheet, though, since the U.S. government will most likely implement its screening plan, it’s generally believed the Canadian pilot project will become a standard practice.
The idea for a multi-modal security program arose from the Beyond the Border Joint Declaration, released by the U.S. president and the Canadian prime minister in February 2011. - Jon Ross