FAST ON TRACK FOR DECEMBER
U.S. and Canada Customs are expected to implement a new program to allow trucked cargo to cross the border fast and secure manner.
The program, “Free and Secure Trade” or FAST, is based on principles from U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Canadian Partners in Protection.
Under the program, importers will submit applications to both U.S. and Canada customs. Trucking companies may apply to one or both governments to participate. Participating truck drivers must be fingerprinted and receive a FAST photo identification card.
The U.S./Canadian border crossings to be used for the program include: Blaine, Wash.; Detroit and Port Huron, Mich.; and Buffalo, Lewiston and Champlain, N.Y. The program essentially provides a “green light” to participants crossing these land-border ports, said U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner during the agency’s third annual Trade Symposium in Washington.
“This can and should be the fastest border clearance mechanism in the world,” Bonner said. He added that FAST participants should be able to comply with minimal investment in bar code and fax technology.
Jayson Ahern, assistant commissioner for Customs’ Office of Field Operations, said the agency is also considering rapid clearance methodologies for trucked cargoes crossing the U.S. border from Mexico.