The Government of Canada proposes amendments to the Customs Act to strengthen border security



    OTTAWA, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of
Public Safety, today took another step to enhance Canada's border security and
prosperity by introducing amendments to the Customs Act in the House of
Commons.
    "Stopping illegal activity and protecting Canadians from threats to their
health, safety and security is a key priority for this Government," said
Minister Day. "These changes give Canada Border Services Agency officers the
information, tools and flexibility they need to detect threats and tackle
crime, while ensuring that legitimate trade and travellers can cross the
border efficiently."
    The amendments will make it mandatory for all businesses involved in the
import trade chain to provide the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) with
electronic data on their shipments before the goods reach Canada. With this
advance information, the CBSA will be able to make better decisions about the
admissibility of the goods, including whether the goods pose a risk to
Canadians.
    Other amendments will enable the CBSA to fully implement "customs
controlled areas," which will provide border services officers with the
flexibility to examine goods and question and search people anywhere within
those areas, as opposed to only at exit points as in the current Act.
    "Enhancing border security is a key priority for our Government," said
Minister Day. "Our Government has made significant investments in support of a
smart, secure and trade-efficient border. For example, it has invested
$430 million to upgrade border infrastructure and security. It is arming
4,800 CBSA officers and hiring 400 new officers to eliminate situations where
they have to work alone. Today's announcement further demonstrates our
Government's commitment to strengthen the integrity of our border."

    The proposed amendments are available at www.parl.gc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: media: Mélisa Leclerc, Director of
Communications, Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public
Safety, (613) 991-2863; CBSA Media Relations, Northern Ontario Region, (613)
991-5197


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