Eagle Eye Expositions, LLC Introduces New US/Canada Border Conference to Advance “Beyond the Border” Declaration

June 17, 2013

Detroit, MI. — Eagle Eye Expositions, LLC presents a new event called the US/Canada Border Conference to take place Sept. 12-13, 2013 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.

The comprehensive two-day conference and exhibition will focus on implementation of the 2011 United States-Canada joint declaration, “Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness” declaration.

Read more here


BTB Shiprider Program Gears Up for Full Implementation

June 12, 2013

CBCNews reports on progress made by Canada and the United States in coordinating their maritime defense through the Shiprider program.

Jena Baker McNeill’s 2009 Heritage Foundation WebMemo provides a concise overview of the Shiprider program, a joint initiative on the part of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the U.S. Coast Guard (U.S.C.G.):

The Shiprider program was created in 2005 by the U.S. and Canadian governments to mitigate and eliminate the exploitation of these security seams. Instead of ceasing pursuit at the marine border, USCG officers now jointly patrol shared waterways with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). As a result, the USCG now has the ability to continue to the other side of the border to pursue terrorists and criminals.

Under the Shiprider program, officers from the USCG and the RCMP are assigned to each other’s watercrafts. In the course of their duties, if the patrolling officers deem it necessary to engage a suspected terrorist or criminal on the water and the watercraft is on the U.S. side of the border the lead USCG officer will be the principle acting officer–subject to the search, seizure, and arresting laws and regulations of the U.S. If the watercraft is on the Canadian side of the border, the opposite principles apply.

The Shiprider program represents a key action item of the 2011 Beyond the Border Initiative.  The program’s continued development not only enhances Canada-U.S. maritime border security, but exemplifies the commitment of both nations to deepen one of the world’s most successful and important bilateral relationships.

Today CBCNews provides on update on progress made since the Beyond the Border (BTB) Initiative’s launch in 2011:

Law enforcement officials on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are gearing up for full implementation of the Shiprider Program, a binational program that erases the border on shared waterways.

The Shiprider Program was announced last year. It will be in full swing this summer on the Detroit River.

The joint program in the Windsor-Detroit area will allow law enforcement officers from Canada and the U.S. to ride together on the Detroit River, patrolling the water and chasing down criminals on both sides of the invisible international boundary. The program is also being used in some parts of British Columbia.

Teams of specially trained and designated law enforcement officers from Canada and the U.S. will co-crew ships originating from both countries.

A number of RCMP officers have been designated law enforcement officers in the U.S. Some U.S. Coast Guard officers have the same designation in Canada. They can perform their duties in either country

Koersvelt said both Canadian and U.S. officers have the authority to go ashore on each other’s country if they deem it necessary.

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security announced it will pay up to $7,000 each for 30 multi-band radios to be used by Canadian first responders in border cities that share U.S. waterways.

The Shiprider Program isn’t necessarily debuting. It’s been used under “special circumstances” in the past, Koersvelt said.

Barry said that besides the RCMP and U.S. Coast Guard, the two agencies involved in the Shiprider Program, there are 26 other agencies patrolling the water.

“In the U.S., if you can name a law enforcement agency, they have a boat and they’re out there,” Barry said.

Barry said gun, drug and human smuggling are of particular concern in Windsor-Detroit.


DHS-Funded USC Institute Release Study Showing How 33 New Border Officials Would Trigger 1,050 U.S. Jobs

April 11, 2013

The CREATE Homeland Security Center, part of the University of Southern California (USC) and funded by DHS, has released a new study “estimat[ing] the impacts of wait times at major ports of entry on the U.S. economy due to changes in customs and border officers staffing.”

In short, it shows exactly the impact that wait-times have on the Canada-U.S. economic relationship.

Check out this graphic from the report:

US Exports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And below you can read the entire report.

View this document on Scribd

Sequestration and U.S. Customs and Border Proection

March 14, 2013

Mondaq delivers a concise review of sequestration’s impact on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

And Detroit local news puts a human face on CBP sequester:  Detroit ABC News reports that CBP agents, while not facing layoffs, may see their paychecks reduced by 40%.

Additionally, CBP lays out what it’s priorities–i.e. what things it will shield from sequester–here, and gives other helpful information, including sequestration’s impact on imports, here.

But, for a good starting point, check out this briefing from Venable LLP attorneys Ashley W. Craig et al:

With sequestration cuts now in effect, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar issued guidance over the weekend about CBP’s revised operations.  Like many other government agencies, CBP will be required to significantly reduce expenses during the remainder of 2013.  In preparation for operating under sequestration, CBP has redirected resources toward only its most critical, core functions, and has discontinued or postponed certain important but less critical activities in an effort to reduce budget expenditures.

CBP has announced the sequestration cuts will be made equally across the agency, with no preference by port of arrival.  The first, immediate cuts will reduce overtime beginning March 1, and personnel furloughs may begin in mid-April.  It is estimated that CBP must reduce its work hours by the equivalent of over 5,000 border patrol agents and the equivalent of over 2,750 CBP officers.

Sequestration will significantly impact service levels in CBP’s cargo operations.  CBP estimates that there may be delays up to several hours at land border crossings, significant daily back-ups for truck shipments at land border ports, passenger processing times may increase by about 50 percent, and there may be up to an additional five days added to cargo inspections at ocean ports of entry.  CBP further notes that there could be some eventual delays in providing advice and rulings, as well as an impact on strategic initiatives such as the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the rollout of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE).

Continue reading…


Newswrap: U.S. Budget Crisis & Legal Issues Threaten to Drag BTB Implementation, But Progress Still Being Made

March 1, 2013

Keith Edmund White

Woodrow Wilson Center

rabble.ca and the National Postamong others, are highlighting possible delays to Beyond the Border (BTB) implementation. But, as noted by The Globe and Mail, real progress still continues on moving BTB forward.

Stuart Trew at rabble.ca discusses the impact of sequestration and “NextGen” legal issues on BTB.

From rabble.ca:

Canadian Press reports this week that if U.S. Congress cannot sort out a deal on spending cuts, “sequestration will thrust Americans into an age of austerity that threatens to bring to a halt some of the projects envisioned by Beyond the Border.” Sequestration, explains the article, “is a massive package of sweeping, automatic spending cuts to an array of U.S. federal departments and agencies set to take effect on March 1.” The “age of austerity” part may be exaggerating it a bit, but both Democrats and Republicans agree there is a real problem here.

The article quotes Canadian business lobbyists who suggest the U.S. budget cuts would most likely impact some parts of the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan, including:

- no expansion of, and likely cuts to, pre-clearance at airports in Canada

- a slower pace or missed deadlines on other initiatives


Additionally, some Beyond the Border initiatives are stalled on legal questions not related to sequestration or lack of U.S. interest.

In early February, Embassy Magazine reported that “Canadian and United States officials are facing continued delays in secretive talks to allow American law enforcement agents to cross the land border and pursue people onto Canadian soil… The program, officially known as the Next Generation of Integrated Cross-Border Law Enforcement, was supposed to be tested through two pilot projects by last summer, but as of Feb. 1 the pilot is still on hold.”

The National Post’s Mike Blanchfield hones in on sequester’s immediate impact:

“Sequester will be felt up there because there’s only a few big crossing places for trade on the Canadian-U.S.border and they’re really important crossing places,” [U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet] Napolitano said in a speech to a Washington think tank. [Note: Read Napolitano’s full speech to Brookings here.]

“In fact, trade-wise, they’re probably the No. 1 or 2 crossing places in the world. As sequester evolves and we have to furlough people who are port officers and not fill vacant positions, and not pay overtime, we’re unfortunately going to see those lines really stretch.”

If Congress fails to reach a deal to avert the cuts, Napolitano said, the jobs will be lost.

In addition to the 5,000 border patrol agents, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is preparing to reduce its work hours by the equivalent of 2,750 inspectors as well, meaning cargo inspections at the border could drag on interminably for Canadian exporters.


Multinationals Beware! Customs Evidentiary Burden of Proof

February 15, 2013

Bennett Jones Thought Network

Darrel Pearson

On January 4, 2013, the federal Canadian tribunal with appellate jurisdiction relating to customs valuation, among other subjects, schooled multinationals on their obligations to meet the evidentiary burden of proof relating to declared values for duty. In particular, the tribunal found that once the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) meets its obligation to prove that an importation has taken place, the burden of proof relating to all elements of the import declaration shifts to the importer. The importer must establish that the values are as it has appraised them, and not as have been re-determined by the President of the CBSA. This is long standing law, but placed in the context of related party cross border transactions, it informs multinational importers of their particular obligations as they relate to the nature of the sale for export (i.e. which party is the vendor to the purchaser in Canada) and the potential dutiability of services rendered by the related vendor (or affiliates) to the purchaser.

Read more here…


U.S. Budget Woes Could Hit Beyond the Border Projects

February 13, 2013

CBC News

The Canadian Press

The dreaded S-word — sequestration — loomed over a Canada-U.S. conference on Beyond the Border initiatives Monday as an American official acknowledged U.S. budget woes were slowing progress on a host of fronts.

“It is fair to say we are facing some very difficult budget constraints,” Ana Hinojosa, a director at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and a member of the Beyond the Border Initiative, told the meeting.

Read more here…


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