The CBSA marks International Customs Day 2024

News release

Ottawa, Ontario, January 24, 2024

On January 26, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will join the World Customs Organization (WCO) and customs agencies around the world to mark International Customs Day. On this day, and everyday, we thank our dedicated frontline border services officers and all CBSA employees across the country and around the world, who serve and protect Canadians with professionalism and integrity.

As our world continues to rapidly evolve, this year’s theme “Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose” highlights the importance of relationships. These allow information, data and intelligence to be shared among partners and enables the CBSA to better deliver on its mandate to protect and ensure the security and prosperity of Canadians.

The CBSA relies on collaboration with international partners to share information, facilities and tools abroad to intercept inadmissible people and goods at the earliest point in the travel or commercial continuum, and to disrupt illicit border-related activity impacting Canada. Further, the Agency participates in a number of international fora that help guide and contribute to achieving its strategic goals. These engagements help nurture and develop important cooperative relationships with partners like the United States, Mexico, the European Union, as well as many Indo-Pacific countries.

In 2023, our partnerships with local, national and international partners led to preventing over 900 prohibited firearms and over 27,100 weapons (over 10% more weapons than 2022) from entering our country and hurting our communities. We intercepted over 72,200 kg of prohibited drugs, cannabis, narcotics and chemicals, representing an increase of over 29% from 2022.

We also:

  • welcomed 86,575,393 travellers (Air: 34,610,650; Highway: 48,045,104 (including 5,887,719 truck drivers); Marine: 3,648,946; Rail: 270,693), an increase of nearly 45% compared to 2022; and almost 496,000 international students, an increase of over 25% compared to 2022
  • processed the arrival of over 72,000 asylum seekers, an increase of approximately 10% compared to 2022
  • processed 5,360,208 commercial trucks into Canada
  • assessed over $39.3 billion in duties and taxes (Customs duties, Special Import Measures Act duties, GST and Excise taxes)
  • continued to protect Canadian industry from unfair trade practices by administering the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), with over $270 million in SIMA duties assessed and approximately 30,000 Canadian jobs protected

The CBSA has strong and productive relationships with partners on a number of fronts:

NEXUS. The CBSA works collaboratively with the United States (U.S.) Customs and Border Protection to reduce the inventory of interviews for our joint NEXUS program. Progress has included reopening enrolment centres in both countries, opening two new enrolment centres in the U.S., introducing a new, split enrolment model at three ports of entry, expanding hours of service at both land and air enrolment centres, and temporarily extending benefits for existing cardholders. In 2023, we processed 1.76 million NEXUS member requests.

Mutual Recognition Arrangements. The CBSA establishes mutual recognition arrangements (MRA) with customs organizations around the world so countries can recognize respective Authorized Economic Operator program members as low risk and provide them with benefits. Countries apply similar security standards and validation processes when approving program applicants. The key goal of mutual recognition is to strengthen trust and security in the supply chain and to prevent criminal activity, such as cargo theft and pilferage, and smuggling contraband. Mutual recognition also contributes to trade facilitation by streamlining processing at the border for certified trusted traders. To date, the CBSA has established MRAs with the customs administrations of Australia, the European Union, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, South Korea and the United States.

CARM. The CBSA works closely with trade chain partners and brokers to modernize, streamline and digitize the process of importing commercial goods. The CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) multi-year project will reach a significant milestone on May 13, 2024 when it becomes the new system of record for the collection of duties and taxes for commercial goods imported into Canada. CARM is helping to protect and grow over $750 billion in trade and $30 billion in revenue collected at the border each year by providing Canadian businesses an online self-service tool and simplified importing processes.

Preventing illegal importation of firearms. The CBSA identifies criminal networks and trafficking routes to prevent illicit firearms from crossing the border. The Agency leads a Cross-Border Firearms Task Force on behalf of the Government of Canada to ensure that law enforcement partners on both sides of the border benefit from shared intelligence and information. In conjunction with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Agency is also exploring increased collaboration with Interpol to further support efforts to prevent the illegal importation of firearms.

Illegal importation of drugs. The CBSA is stopping illegal drugs at the border and supporting the delivery of Health Canada’s renewed Canadian drugs and substances strategy. Working with its domestic and international law enforcement partners, the CBSA is fighting the opioid crisis by identifying individuals, groups and businesses suspected of importing controlled drugs and substances used in the manufacturing of these drugs. The Agency stays current with global trends and patterns to ensure its front-line intelligence personnel are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively and safely seize these dangerous substances.

Food industry and the Canadian economy. The CBSA is addressing the threat of African swine fever by working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to prevent the importation of high-risk food, plant and animal products from overseas. These efforts include the deployment of detector dog teams specializing in food, plant and animal products and an ongoing public awareness campaign for travellers and stakeholders in Canada and abroad.

Security and immigration. The CBSA supports the arrival of admissible persons fleeing war and humanitarian crises by collaborating with federal and international security partners. The Agency exchanges information with its international partners to support immigration officials in identifying foreign nationals who may be inadmissible to Canada on serious grounds, including for having engaged in criminal activity. The CBSA will continue to implement processing efficiencies in the national security screening program to identify inadmissible persons seeking entry into Canada, in collaboration with federal partners including the RCMP, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Risk assessment of air travellers. The CBSA works with partners to advance international consensus on the governance of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. This work is closely aligned to our multilateral efforts to combat terrorism and serious transnational crime, and based on the foundation of the PNR data standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Canada concluded formal Treaty negotiations with the European Union (EU) in November 2023 with regards to PNR Data sharing, reaffirming Canada’s commitment to balancing security needs with privacy protections, consistent with international standards and recommended practices. 

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For more information or to schedule an interview with a CBSA representative, please contact:

Media Relations

Canada Border Services Agency


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