New Canada–U.S. Preclearance Agreement comes into force, opening door to enhanced travel and trade

News release

August 15, 2019
Ottawa, Ontario
Public Safety Canada

Ensuring a secure and efficient flow of goods and travellers across the Canada–United States border is important to both countries. Preclearance strengthens our economy by expediting the flow of legitimate travel and trade while also ensuring security and border integrity.

Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, announced that Canada and the U.S. have brought into force the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America.

Bringing into force the Agreement facilitates opportunities for enhanced travel and trade. It enables Canada and the U.S. to expand preclearance for travellers at land, rail and marine facilities in both countries, as well as at additional airports. It also opens the door for the preclearance of commercial cargo.


“The new Canada–U.S. Preclearance Agreement is now in force, creating new opportunities in all modes of transportation, as well as cargo, in both Canada and the United States. Expanding preclearance makes travel faster and bolsters trade, while better protecting our rights.”

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

“Canada is committed to expanding preclearance and we continue to examine possibilities for expanding preclearance operations to new locations across our country and in the U.S.”

– The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

“Entry into force of the new preclearance agreement underscores the Government of Canada’s commitment to making practical progress on bilateral relations for the benefit of all Canadians.”

– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Canadians have been enjoying the benefits of preclearance for over half a century. This new comprehensive agreement makes travel faster and more convenient for U.S.-bound tourists and business travellers.”

– The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

“Preclearance strengthens economic competitiveness and mutual security, and benefits travelers by expediting their clearance into the U.S. before they ever leave Canada. This agreement provides the opportunity for CBP to build on six decades of successful operations and, for the first time, to conduct full preclearance in the rail, ferry, and cruise ship environments. This achievement is important for the Department’s security objectives and is another example of just how close the U.S.–Canada relationship stands.”

– Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security

Quick facts

  • Preclearance is the process by which border officers from Canada or the U.S. carry out immigration, customs and agriculture inspections and other requirements in the other country before allowing the movement of goods or people across the border.

  • Canada and the United States have a long history of successful preclearance operations, with almost 15 million passengers a year currently precleared for flights to the United States from Canada's eight largest airports.

  • Canada and the United States share the longest, secure border in the world, over which almost 400,000 people and $2.6 billion worth of goods and services cross daily.

  • The agreement is fully reciprocal across all modes of transportation, enabling Canadian preclearance officers to conduct preclearance in the U.S. and U.S. CBP officers to conduct preclearance in Canada. The authorities granted in the Agreement will apply equally to Canadian preclearance officers working in the U.S. and U.S. preclearance officers working in Canada.

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Scott Bardsley
Manager of Media and Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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