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Program Activity: Security

The goal of the Security program activity is to ensure the safety and security of Canadians, within the context of the government’s security agenda, through effective and efficient border management.

Financial Resources ($ thousands):

Planned Spending

Total Authorities

Actual Spending




Human Resources (FTEs):







Explanation of differences:[5]

The $64 million difference between total authorities and actual spending is mainly the result of the following:

  • $59 million as a net operating lapse more specifically related to the following initiatives:
    • Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America;
    • Securing Canada’s air cargo transportation system;
    • Arming CBSA officers and addressing work-alone situations;
    • Container Security Initiative and Harmonized Risk Scoring — Advance Trade Data; and
    • Detection technology equipment.
  • $5 million lapse in capital expenditures:
    • Primary Automated Lookout System; and
    • Radiation detection and other equipment related to the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor initiative.

The Security program activity supports the following CBSA priorities:

Security; Effective Delivery of Programs and Services, Innovating for the Border of the Future, Strong Internal and External Relationships

Meeting our 2006–2007 Priorities and Commitments

Intelligence Vision

In 2006–2007, the CBSA formally approved its Intelligence Vision. The Vision aims to inform and support the CBSA’s program and operational decisions. The CBSA is committed to strengthening its intelligence capacity to better identify threats posed by people and goods through more timely and accurate strategic, operational and tactical intelligence to support the CBSA, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Government of Canada and domestic and international partners. The Intelligence Vision will be a cornerstone in the development of the CBSA’s enforcement vision, mission and mandate. 


In June 2006, the CBSA assumed responsibility for the criminal investigation and prosecution of certain offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in accordance with a signed Letter of Intent outlining the RCMP’s and the CBSA’s respective roles and responsibilities in the enforcement of offences under IRPA. Since June 1, 2006, CBSA investigators have been enforcing a wide range of offences under IRPA, such as entering Canada without authorization, use of fraudulent documents, aiding/abetting illegal entry and misrepresentation.

In 2006–2007, the CBSA referred 424 criminal investigation cases to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) for prosecution. These cases pertain to criminal investigations under all border legislation that is the responsibility of the CBSA. Of these cases, 30% were offences under IRPA. The CBSA’s commitment to the enforcement of serious offences under IRPA has led to the completion of 89 criminal cases with a 95% rate for convictions in the CBSA’s first year of undertaking these new responsibilities. Over 125 cases have already been referred to the PPSC, with another 50 investigations either in progress or with charges pending. 

The CBSA is also responsible for enforcing various food, plant and animal legislation and regulations at the border. The CBSA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are still negotiating the specific roles and responsibilities between the two agencies. In 2006–2007, the CBSA investigated approximately 20 cases related to food, plant and animal offences and anticipates that this number will increase once it completes service and other agreements with the CFIA. The CBSA referred one food, plant and animal case to the PPSC in 2006–2007, which resulted in a conviction.

To meet the demands of these new responsibilities, the CBSA actively recruited employees with the appropriate experience and knowledge, in addition to providing immigration and food, plant and animal training to regional investigators. These recruitment and training initiatives will continue in 2007–2008.


Persons who pose a threat to national security, those involved in organized crime, crimes against humanity or other serious criminality, contagious persons or those who put excessive demand on health services in Canada, overstays,[6] foreign nationals who work or study without permission or who misrepresent themselves, are inadmissible to Canada. 

When a CBSA enforcement officer encounters someone that is inadmissible, a report is written. The report is an allegation. The person involved in the report will attend a hearing to determine if the report is true. If the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), an independent tribunal, finds the report to be true, a removal order stating that the person has to leave Canada is issued. Reports written by inland enforcement officers rose 8% from 20,383 in 2005–2006 to 22,620 in 2006–2007. 

The CBSA focuses removal actions on high-risk persons with priority placed on those who pose a threat to national security and those involved in organized crime, crimes against humanity and other serious criminality, followed by failed refugee claimants and other inadmissible persons. 

The CBSA arrested 7,347 inadmissible persons in 2006–2007 and removed 12,617. Of those removed, 1,996 were removed due to criminality. This represents an increase of 10% over the previous year’s removals due to criminality, demonstrating that the CBSA continues to focus its removal efforts on those who pose the greatest threat to the safety and security of Canadians.

In 2006–2007, the CBSA participated in five joint charter removals with the United States, resulting in the removal of 33 high-risk persons. Joint charter removals with the United States are a cost-effective way to remove those who cannot be removed by commercial air due to behavioural issues.

The CBSA also participated in four international meetings to share information and best practices on removals with other like-minded countries.[7]

Migration integrity officers

The CBSA employs a multi-layered approach in accordance with its “multiple borders strategy”[8] to combat irregular migration. The CBSA currently has 44 migration integrity officers (MIOs)[9] in 39 key locations abroad. The deployment of MIOs has strengthened the CBSA’s capacity to interdict irregular migrants overseas; the MIOs provide training to airlines to screen and identify inadmissible people as early as possible in their travel to Canada.

In order to enhance the information-sharing protocols used by our officers abroad, an intelligence liaison officer (ILO)[10] was posted in Canberra, Australia. This individual works closely with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. An ILO was also placed in London, England, and, in similar fashion, the officer works closely with the United Kingdom’s Home Office (Border and Immigration Agency).

The ongoing collaboration between CIC and the CBSA’s MIOs in the implementation of the IRPAresulted in 4,796 persons being intercepted during the 2006–2007 fiscal year as compared to 5,145 in 2005–2006. The decrease in the number of interceptions is due to several factors including the following: changes in travel routes used by inadmissible persons, the lack of reporting by airlines and other partners on work undertaken on our behalf, and enhanced deterrence measures used by the MIO network.

In 2006–2007, the MIO network strengthened relationships by providing training, sound direction, guidance and support to intelligence personnel, thereby helping to ensure effective program delivery. MIOs also delivered training sessions to over 8,900 partners, such as airlines and local police. Relationships with internal and external partners were also strengthened through the establishment of memoranda of understanding (MOUs). These MOUs with partners, such as CIC, the RCMP and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are in place to provide the legal framework for partnership, communication, cooperation and information sharing.

Canada’s Modern War Crimes Program

The CBSA works closely with its program partners to deny access to Canada to persons inadmissible for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, and also to take enforcement action against those persons already in Canada. Canada’s Modern War Crimes Program is a joint initiative involving the CBSA, the RCMP, the Department of Justice and CIC. The CBSA program focuses on post-World War II cases (i.e. modern war criminals). Together with program partners, the CBSA has begun to implement the March 2006 Results-based Management and Accountability Framework to ensure that the national program is run efficiently.

The CBSA, alongside its program counterparts from other government departments (OGDs), continues to assist in the global fight against impunity[11] for war criminals. This has included hosting a representative of the Australian war crimes office for a one-week training program and sending a Canadian ILO to the Australian office to assist in the further development of its program. The CBSA also hosted members of the New Zealand program in April 2006. The CBSA has been developing an enhanced outreach strategy for its partners both abroad and within Canada through regular training and workshops on war crimes. 

Annual reports on the War Crimes Program ensure accountability to the public. The CBSA was responsible for the government-wide preparation and coordination of the 2005–2006 9th Annual Report. A total of 367 persons complicit in war crimes or crimes against humanity were refused visas to enter Canada during that fiscal year. Interventions on behalf of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration before the IRB occurred in 237 of these cases, resulting in the exclusion of 40 cases from the refugee determination process. Finally, a total of 41 persons complicit in war crimes or crimes against humanity were removed from Canada.

Partners in Protection

The Partners in Protection program enlists the cooperation of private industry in efforts to enhance border security, combat organized crime and terrorism, increase awareness of customs compliance issues, and help detect and prevent contraband smuggling. Under this program, the CBSA has developed strategic partnerships with private industry to secure the flow of low-risk, legitimate goods and travellers across our border. 

In order to achieve compatibility with its U.S. counterpart program, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), and to comply with the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, the Partners in Protection program received an investment of $11.6 million in Budget 2006 to enhance program membership requirements, regional delivery capacity, officer training, operational and administrative support, and enforcement measures.

In 2006–2007, new minimum-security criteria were drafted for external consultation with an expected completion date of October 2007. The CBSA has begun developing standard operating procedures, and a communications strategy to support the changes to the program targeted for completion in January 2008. A transition strategy is also being developed to ensure our current partners meet the new requirements. The Agency began the process of hiring additional officers to conduct the required site reviews, and hiring and training are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2007–2008. An agreement on mutual recognition of the strengthened Partners in Protection and U.S. C-TPAT programs by June 2008 was reached at the Shared Border Accord Coordinating Committee meeting in spring 2007.

Radiation detection technology

Over the past several years, the CBSA has made significant investments in technology that assists border services officers in detecting drugs, weapons, explosives and other dangerous goods. The CBSA has also developed the capacity to screen for radioactive materials at critical border points in its highest-risk transportation streams. The CBSA is committed to screening all containers entering Canada’s four major marine ports to ensure the security of the general public and Canada’s supply chain. In 2006–2007, the CBSA undertook a significant expansion of its radiation detection portal network at four ports of entry, and it plans to complete the implementation and installation by the end of 2007–2008.


In 2006-2007, the Radiation Detection Program expanded to include additional ports:

  • Eight portals were installed at the Port of Montreal in Quebec at all three terminals;
  • Two portals were installed at the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, and preliminary work has begun in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Challenging negotiations with port authorities regarding portal placement on some docks, developing joint communications materials, developing an MOU and activating portals continued with a variety of stakeholders. This led to the development of a comprehensive CBSA communications and outreach program that helped strengthen links with other stakeholders, including various agencies dedicated to emergency response.

Arming and ending work-alone situations

Budget 2006 allocated $101 million over two years to start the process of arming CBSA officers and eliminating work-alone situations. In 2006–2007, the Agency laid the groundwork to ensure that these initiatives were carried out properly and professionally and without unnecessary delay. The CBSA also remained dedicated to transparency by consulting with key stakeholders, including union representatives, throughout the planning and implementation phases. A national border services officer recruitment program was also launched to ensure an ongoing supply of qualified recruits to meet operational demands.


In 2006–2007, the CBSA attained important milestones in the process of providing CBSA officers with duty firearms. Notably, an MOU was signed with the RCMP for assistance in course design, use of RCMP training facilities and for CBSA trainer selection. A national trainer selection process was launched in fall 2006 and on March 5 and 15, 2007, the first two groups of candidates for the position of use-of-force trainer for firearms began their training at the RCMP’s Connaught Range in Ottawa, Ontario. 

During this period, the CBSA also continued to work with union officials on the initiative, including the policies, the training program and the implementation strategy. Operational policies on the use of force, incident reporting and investigation, handling of agency and protected firearms, and the wearing of protective and defensive equipment including firearms were completed. Human resources policies on training prerequisites, employee support and the duty to accommodate were also finalized during this period.

In 2006–2007, the Agency also finalized the first phase of its implementation strategy — determining “where” and “how” the first groups of armed officers would be deployed. The CBSA also selected the duty firearm after carefully evaluating the sample pistols to select the model best suited to the needs of CBSA officers and their unique work environment.

Ending work-alone situations

In 2006–2007, the CBSA established a working group, made up of representatives from the regions and the union, to develop a phased-in strategy to address work-alone situations. Management was also involved in the extensive consultation on this initiative. This initial consultation identified 138 work-alone sites across the country and key issues discussed included recruitment, facilities, accommodations and policy. Subsequently, a task force was created to develop policies, communications products and an implementation plan. Union consultation has been fundamental throughout this process.

The implementation plan was approved in March 2007 and will guide the initiative over the next three years. In 2006–2007, four work-alone situations were eliminated through the use of existing resources. For 2007–2008, a minimum of 50 Port of Entry Recruit Training recruits will be hired to eliminate work-alone situations. In total, 400 new officers will be recruited and trained under this initiative.

Business resumption planning

The CBSA remains committed to responding to any potential threats that would affect the well-being and safety of Canadians. As part of our strategy to identify and then mitigate these threats, the CBSA worked proactively with the United States to develop coordinated business resumption protocols and security technology and disaster recovery systems at the border in the event of an unexpected disaster or increased alerts. This work has an operational side and a component that supports information technology (IT) security and continuity. Both of these efforts will support the continuity of border operations in the event of an emergency. Further, in January 2007, the Government of Canada announced a significant investment in the CBSA of $24 million over five years for business resumption planning. In part, this money will be used to further harmonize and strengthen Canada–U.S. planning, to help ensure that plans are in place to enable the flow of lawful trade and travel during an emergency, and to implement measures to ensure the availability and integrity of critical IT applications and data during an emergency.

Program Activity: Access

The goal of the Access program activity is to ensure the flow of lawful people and goods, to promote compliance with border legislation and to ensure a level playing field for legitimate trade and travel.

Financial Resources ($ thousands):

Planned Spending

Total Authorities

Actual Spending




Human Resources (FTEs):







Explanation of differences:

The $40 million difference between total authorities and actual spending is the result of the following:

  • $24 million as a net operating lapse more specifically related to the following initiatives:
    • Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America;
    • Securing Canada’s air cargo transportation system; and
    • Arming CBSA officers and addressing work-alone situations.
  • $16 million lapse in capital expenditures attributable to delays in the construction of capital projects in Douglas, B.C., and in Stanstead and Rigaud in Quebec.

The Access program activity supports the following CBSA priorities:

Access; Effective Delivery of Programs and Services, Innovating for the Border of the Future, Strong Internal and External Relationships

Meeting our 2006–2007 Priorities and Commitments

Movement of People Framework

The objective of the Movement of People Framework, a multi-year project, is to develop a long-term strategy for the movement of people across Canada’s border. The Framework is a combination of program review and strategic visioning that will examine CBSA business processes to integrate customs, immigration and food, plant and animal inspection functions. This will allow us to determine the best way to use our innovative inspection programs to improve the processing and streaming of persons arriving at our border, expedite the flow of low-risk travellers and concentrate on high-risk travellers.

In 2006–2007, the CBSA completed a study on the primary inspection line and the secondary inspection function, and updated and validated the advance passenger processing and secondary processing of people and their goods for customs, immigration, and food, plant and animal functions in all transportation modes.

The CBSA also continued to carry out the Travellers Program Review to support the implementation of the Port of Entry Vision, to expedite the processing of people and to enhance the management of people processes. As of March 31, 2007, eight recommendations were implemented, eight were in progress, four have been identified for incorporation into new initiatives and three require further action.

Movement of Goods Framework

The objective of the Movement of Goods Framework, a multi-year project, is to confirm a defined commercial direction on the movements of goods across Canada’s border. The Framework will be a combination of program review and strategic visioning that will ensure that the CBSA has the policy and regulatory framework in place to most effectively support programs such as Free and Secure Trade (FAST) and Advance Commercial Information (ACI). For these innovative programs to be successful, the CBSA must have confidence in the integrity of its programs and processes and know that they will meet the Agency’s future needs. As part of the development of the Movement of Goods Framework, a report outlining the future direction of the commercial program at the CBSA was developed and finalized in November 2006. The report confirmed that the CBSA is on the right track and well positioned for the future. In addition, a commercial process model was developed in 2006–2007 to help illustrate the complexity of the commercial program.

In 2006–2007, the CBSA initiated reviews of a number of its commercial policies, programs and services to ensure their effective and efficient delivery (see Appendix B). The reviews will also enhance and modernize programs and policies so that they are relevant to today’s commercial environment.

Administrative Monetary Penalty System

The Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) provides a means for the CBSA to ensure that goods are properly reported, duties and taxes are paid and accurate trade statistics are collected. The CBSA accomplishes this by issuing civil monetary penalties for infractions of customs legislation and regulations.

In 2006–2007, the CBSA began work to simplify the penalty system, including consultations with external partners and the trade community. A recommendation paper was prepared and circulated to the external consultative group and feedback has been mostly positive. The concerns raised by the CBSA’s clients and employees regarding the quantity of contraventions and the complexity and lack of clarity of the existing penalty system are being considered and addressed as part of the AMPS review. Preliminary work was undertaken in 2006–2007 on changes to automated systems to make the penalties easier to administer.

Core Services Review 

The constant increase in international trade and travel has meant an increase in requests for new and enhanced publicly funded services that the CBSA cannot address with its current base resource allocation. To meet these demands and ensure fairness and equity, the CBSA has begun to review its approach to publicly funded core services and services provided on a cost-recovery basis in the air mode, with the intent of applying the same focus to the other modes in the future.

In 2006–2007, the Agency conducted extensive consultations with internal and external stakeholders on both the traveller and commercial streams in the air mode. The CBSA also reviewed the practices of selected Government of Canada departments and foreign border services organizations with respect to user fees and cost recovery. This research allowed the Agency to develop policy options for defining publicly versus privately funded services, along with economic models and assessment tools to test the principles advanced.

U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) came into force on January 23, 2007, for all travellers entering the United States by air. 

The CBSA continued to lead the Canadian response to the WHTI and has been encouraging the U.S. government to ensure that any potential impacts on legitimate travel or trade are minimized when the WHTI is implemented in land and sea modes. As a result of Government of Canada and stakeholder efforts in 2006–2007, the proposed WHTI rules for land and sea would allow for more documents to be used to cross the Canada–U.S. border. One of these suggested documents is the NEXUS membership card. Additionally, in early 2008, when land and sea implementation will be phased in, oral declarations of citizenship and identity will be eliminated and the requirement for Canadians and Americans to provide government-issued photo ID together with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, will be introduced for entry into the United States.

The CBSA continues to work with its partners and stakeholders to identify alternative documents to passports for cross-border travel. The CBSA is currently engaged with all provinces in assessing the feasibility of developing enhanced driver’s licence programs.

Anti-dumping and Countervailing Programs

The Anti-dumping and Countervailing Program conducts investigations into allegations of injurious dumping or subsidizing of imported goods, re-investigations and expiry reviews under the Special Import Measures Act, and enforces injury findings made by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) following dumping and/or subsidy investigations.

At the end of the fiscal year, the CBSA was monitoring imports of 16 products from various countries and assessed duty where necessary to offset the dumping or subsidizing. This activity helped protect 29,000 jobs and $4.9 billion in Canadian production in 2006–2007. 

Recourse Services

The recourse program is responsible for providing clients with a fair and impartial review of decisions and actions taken in support of border services legislation. The objective is to make and support timely and consistent recourse decisions that contribute to the security, protection and economic prosperity of Canada. The CBSA is committed to ensuring that the recourse process is accessible and transparent.
Throughout 2006–2007, the CBSA delivered administrative reviews of its decisions related to trade programs and enforcement sanctions. During this period, over 4,100 requestsfor review of enforcement actions and over 2,100 requests for reviews of trade disputes (re-determinations) were received. In addition, approximately 4,200 enforcement-related decisions and 3,500 trade-related decisions were rendered. Figures 2.1 and 2.2 provide the intake and disposal comparisons over a three-year period[12] for the administrative review of enforcement sanctions and other actions,[13] as well as trade program decisions[14] respectively.

Figure 2.1 — Administrative Reviews of Enforcement Sanctions and Other Actions
Intake and disposal comparison over a three-year period

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.2 — Trade Program Decisions
Intake and disposal comparison over a three-year period

Figure 2.2

To promote transparency and timely decision making, in 2006–2007, it was the CBSA’s aim to acknowledge new appeals and provide the claimant with the name of the CBSA contact assigned to their case within 30 days of receipt. This standard was satisfied 89% of the time. In addition to acknowledging receipt of the dispute in a timely fashion, the CBSA also focused on providing clients with the Notice of Reasons for Action within 45 days of the file being assigned to an adjudicator 90% of the time. This standard was exceeded during 2006–2007 as 94% of clients received the Notice of Reasons for Action within 45 days.

Over a three-year period, approximately 13% of our trade dispute decisions and 2% of our adjudication decisions were appealed further to the courts. Of these, the courts upheld the CBSA’s administrative decisions or the appellant withdrew their appeal in 62% of all decisions rendered. Figure 2.3 shows the outcome of appeals to the CITT and the courts over a three-year period.

Figure 2.3 — Outcome of Appeals to the CITT and the Courts Over a Three-year Period

Figure 2.3


Program Activity: Science- and Technology-based Innovation

The goal of the Science- and Technology-based Innovation program activity is to support efficient and effective border management, and to protect Canadians from existing risk and emerging threats through the design, development, implementation, delivery and maintenance of cost-effective technology and science solutions, in partnership with other program activities.

Financial Resources ($ thousands):

Planned Spending

Total Authorities

Actual Spending




Human Resources (FTEs):







Explanation of differences:[15]

The $69 million difference between total authorities and actual spending is mainly related to the following initiatives:

  • Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America;
  • Securing Canada’s air cargo transportation system;
  • Container Security Initiative; and
  • Harmonized Risk Scoring – Advance Trade Data.

The Science- and Technology-based Innovation program activity supports the following CBSA priorities:

Science-and Technology-based Innovation; Effective Delivery of Programs and Services, Innovating for the Border of the Future, Strong Internal and External Relationships, A Modern Management Regime

Meeting our 2006–2007 Priorities and Commitments

IT infrastructure — operations/enhancements and maintenance

The CBSA continues to deliver quality programs and services to its clients, partners and stakeholders, and to improve its operations by strengthening its intelligence and enforcement capacity with the latest state-of-the-art tools and technology to reduce the threats inherent in terrorism, smuggling, organized crime and communicable disease.

In 2006–2007, the CBSA maintained 24/7 operations and maintenance of a number of automated commercial systems: the Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System (ACROSS), the Customs Commercial System and the Customs Electronic Commerce Platform. Our automated commercial systems remained available to our internal and external clients over 95.5% of the time. In rare cases when an outage did occur, the CBSA immediately reacted to and resolved the problem with minimal disruption to border operations through established procedures.

Significant enhancements to our IT infrastructure and operations have been implemented, and IT infrastructure strategies continued to be developed and incorporated in our overall IT strategy and plan. For example, through Phase II of the ACI program, pre-arrival data on cargo is now provided electronically for risk assessment.

Enhancements to the Commercial Risk Assessment System

The ACI program is based on the concept that the transmission of electronic commercial data allows the CBSA to better assess the risk of conveyances and goods before their arrival in Canada. To enhance its risk-management capability, the CBSA developed and implemented an automated Commercial Risk Assessment System to screen ACI in order to identify high-risk shipments before they arrive at our border.

Building on the success of Phase I of the ACI program, which was implemented in the marine mode in 2004, the CBSA expanded the ACI model to the transborder marine and air modes as part of Phase II. Phase II was fully implemented in June 2006.

Since the implementation of Phase II, there have been ongoing enhancements and refinements to the Commercial Risk Assessment System to support the Agency’s ability to respond to emerging threats to the health, safety and security of Canadians.


In June 2006, the Commercial Risk Assessment System development team received the prestigious Public Service Award of Excellence. The team won in the Innovation category for creating a sophisticated automated tool to assess the risk of cargo shipments destined for Canada before their arrival at the border.

Enhancements to the Travellers Risk Assessment System

The Primary Automated Lookout System (PALS) is nearing the end of its lifecycle. A new initiative, known as the PALS replacement, will provide border services officers with an improved tool to perform automated risk assessments on both travellers and vehicles seeking entry into Canada at land border crossings. The Integrated Primary Inspection Line (IPIL) highway portion of the PALS replacement underwent significant development in 2006–2007. This involved a significant system enhancement that will integrate licence plate document reader technology (procured in 2006–2007), thereby allowing us to assess the risk of both the traveller and the vehicle. This will enable the CBSA to expedite the passage of low-risk individuals while enhancing its ability to identify higher-risk individuals.

Advance Interdepartmental Reporting Initiative

The Advance Interdepartmental Reporting Initiative (AIRI) will continue to identify and develop additional electronic solutions and interface options to enhance and increase the exchange of reporting data between the CBSA and OGDs and partners. These solutions will allow the CBSA to conduct business with all trade partners in electronic format as well as support new risk-assessment processes and technologies in support of national security and the public health and safety of Canadians.

In 2006–2007, under the AIRI, the CBSA identified data-reporting requirements from OGDs for approximately 40 programs to help make the transition from paper-based transactions to full electronic reporting of border requirements. In support of the CBSA’s commitment to the WCO data model, these requirements were mapped to that model. The CBSA also provided its requirements to the WCO and requested that they be included in the next enhanced version of the WCO data model.

Harmonized Risk Scoring — Advance Trade Data

The goal of the Harmonized Risk Scoring — Advance Trade Data initiative is to close existing information gaps in the marine commercial supply chain by harmonizing targeting methodologies with U.S. CBP to the standards established by the WCO. This harmonization includes incorporating additional trade data that is not currently being submitted to the CBSA. The focus of this initiative is to effectively identify high-risk commercial goods while at the same time facilitating the flow of low-risk goods, thereby reducing the number of examinations necessary. This will allow the CBSA to focus resources on identifying high-risk containers.

The CBSA determined its most critical risk indicators by identifying gaps. These gaps were identified through detailed statistical analysis and new scoring algorithms developed for the Commercial Risk Assessment System, based on existing and new risk indicators in a simulation environment.

Additional data will enhance the integrity of our risk assessments by providing end-to-end transparency of marine containers from the point of origin to their final destination in Canada.


Over the next five years, the Government of Canada has committed to investing $396 million in eManifest.[16] This initiative has been identified as a key priority under the trilateral Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America that includes Canada, the United States and Mexico.

eManifest will significantly increase the CBSA’s ability to detect rail and highway shipments coming into Canada that are of high or unknown risk. With the advance electronic cargo information received, the CBSA will be better able to effectively analyze risk, while ensuring efficient border operations and flow of international trade. By having the right information at the right time in the right format, the CBSA will be able to make an informed decision based on a rigorous risk assessment completed before the goods arrive in Canada.

Highlights of eManifest:

  • Advance electronic crew, cargo and conveyance information from carriers, freight forwarders and importers/customs brokers;
  • Web portal option for clients to facilitate compliance;
  • Automated risk assessment in advance of the goods arriving in Canada;
  • Streamlined border processing through integrated systems for officers;
  • The incorporation of transponder technology; and
  • Significant investments in the CBSA IT infrastructure.

For input and guidance on this initiative, the CBSA established an eManifest Stakeholder Partnership Network and held the inaugural meeting in Ottawa in January 2006.  

In 2006–2007, further discussions with stakeholders were held that contributed to the development of key products including the project charter, a draft deployment plan and governance models. Close cooperation and collaboration was also established with the United States, including the sharing of detailed information relative to their best practices and lessons learned. The CBSA continues to participate in the Trade Support Network Subcommittee on Cross Border Harmonization with representatives from U.S. and Mexican customs. 

Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record 

The Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) program enables the CBSA to perform risk assessments on air travellers, which includes passengers and the crew, before a flight arrives in Canada. Through this program, high-risk air travellers are identified while en route to Canada. Travellers’ data is analyzed to assess the level of risk before their arrival at Canada’s nine major international airports. 

The PNR “push” functionality (PNR Push) is the direct transfer of data to the CBSA. A partial solution was implemented in April 2006. In 2006–2007, the CBSA initiated the development of the full solution, including additional system enhancements to further improve the data transfer functionality. The CBSA added and enhanced data from 12 airlines, which increased the number of risk assessments and provided more data for users to analyze. Due to these enhancements, the Agency was able to analyze API/PNR data provided by certified airlines on a 24/7 basis throughout 2006–2007.


NEXUS Air is a joint program between Canada and the United States. It began as a pilot project that evolved from the 2001 Canada–U.S. Smart Border Declaration commitment to improve the secure flow of people between the two countries. NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States.

In December 2006, the CBSA announced the harmonization of the NEXUS Air, Highway and Marine modes into one harmonized NEXUS program. Currently the harmonized NEXUS program has a membership of 122,000.

In 2006–2007, NEXUS Air was implemented at Toronto Pearson International Airport (Terminal 1) and Montral-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. The expansion of NEXUS Air to all Canadian international airports with U.S. preclearance facilities was also announced and the CBSA began laying the groundwork for the expansion in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax and Toronto (Terminal 3) in 2007–2008.


In October 2006, NEXUS Air was awarded the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC) Gold Medal; it was also nominated for the Public Service Award of Excellence in early 2007.