Coming into force of Bill C-21 strengthens border management

News release

July 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Canada – Canada Border Services Agency

The Government of Canada remains committed to a strong, secure, and efficient border with the United States (U.S.), while protecting individual privacy and rights.

Beginning July 11, 2019, Canada and the U.S. will exchange basic biographic entry information (such as full names and date of birth) on all travellers at the land border, so that entry into one country serves as an exit record from the other. This initiative will help Canada make better, timely decisions on border management, law enforcement, national security, citizenship applications, immigration, and social services.

This significant milestone is the result of the coming into force of Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act, and associated regulations, which provide authorities for the CBSA to collect exit information on all travellers departing Canada, including Canadians.

The collection and exchange of basic biographic information will be seamless to travellers. The CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have signed an information sharing memorandum of understanding, which includes safeguards and protections on the exchange of biographic entry data for entry/exit by land mode only. Information will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The use of this information is restricted to specific purposes by law.

Quotes

“Canada and the U.S. are strengthening the management of our shared border by delivering on our commitment to fully implement the Entry/Exit initiative at the land border. The Government of Canada is determined to keep our border secure while protecting individual rights and freedoms, and has built privacy protections into the core of the Entry/Exit initiative.”

- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness 

“In an increasingly complex and challenging security environment, the U.S. and Canada must collaboratively address security concerns and protect both operational and personal information, while working to facilitate legitimate and vital cross-border trade and travel. Ultimately, the U.S. and Canada, by fully implementing this commitment, to include the sharing of information of U.S. and Canadian citizens, will enhance our security in the most effective and responsible manner without impacting legitimate cross-border travel.” 

- Kevin McAleenan, Acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary

Quick facts

  • An exit record consists of basic biographic information, typically found on page 2 of a passport, along with the date, time and location of exit.

  • Stakeholder consultation was undertaken as part of the regulatory development process to ensure Canadians and industry stakeholders had the opportunity to submit their views and comments prior to the publication and implementation of the Exit Information Regulations for those who leave the country by land.

  • Exit legislation aligns Canada with its international partners, including the U.S., the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, who have, or are in the process of, implementing entry/exit information systems.

  • Regulatory amendments for those who leave the country by air are expected to come into force in Summer 2020. Once fully implemented, Canada will collect basic exit information directly from air carriers through passenger manifests but will not share them with the U.S.

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Contacts

Media Relations

Canada Border Services Agency
613-957-6500

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