WESTERN HEMISPHERE TRAVEL INITIATIVE (WHTI)
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WESTERN HEMISPHERE TRAVEL INITIATIVE (WHTI) 6 TH INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY / COUNTERTERRORISM CONFERENCE April 23 – 24, 2007 Presentation by Janet Rumball A/Director General Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Overview. WHTI Background Outreach (Air) – Action taken

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WESTERN HEMISPHERE TRAVEL INITIATIVE (WHTI)6TH INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY / COUNTERTERRORISM CONFERENCEApril 23 – 24, 2007Presentation by Janet Rumball A/Director General Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative


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Overview

  • WHTI Background

  • Outreach (Air) – Action taken

  • NEXUS Harmonization and Expansion

  • NEXUS Overview

  • Recent Developments / Key Announcements

  • Analysis of Current Federal and Provincial Documents

  • Enhanced Driver’s Licence Pilot

  • Next Steps

  • Questions


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WHTI - Background

  • United States (U.S.) Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (2004)

    • “Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall develop and implement a plan…to require a passport or other document or combination of documents deemed acceptable by the Secretary of Homeland Security.”

  • Requirement stems from a recommendation in the 9/11 Commission Report aimed at Americans, but applies equally to Canadians


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    Background (Cont’d)

    WHTI is being implemented in two phases

    • Air Mode

      • Implemented on January 23, 2007

      • Documents required for entry into the U.S.: valid passport or NEXUS card used at a NEXUS kiosk at designated airports

    • Land and Sea Modes

      • Implementation date – as early as January 1, 2008 and as late as June 1, 2009

      • Documents required for entry into the US to be determined – valid passports and likely U.S. PASScard, NEXUS, FAST Cards will be accepted


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    Background (Cont’d)

    • Potentially significant impacts on Canada and the U.S. for land mode

      • Foregone planned travel

      • Decreased spontaneous travel

      • Potential for border congestion impacting trade and investment


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    Outreach (Air) – Action taken

    • A news release, fact sheets, and background information on the WHTI and how to apply for a passport were issued to the Canadian media on November 24, 2006

    • Over 400 stakeholder associations were provided with detailed information on the WHTI as well as a link to the CBSA web site and encouraged to inform travellers of new U.S. entry requirements

    • Posters, LED screens messaging is available at Customs receiving areas at major Canadian airports

    • Public Notices published in major daily newspapers on December 21 and 28, 2006 and on January 8 and 15, 2007

    • Consultations undertaken with airlines and Canadian consulates to ensure awareness of U.S. requirements.


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    NEXUS Harmonization and Expansion

    • Canada and the U.S. harmonized all three NEXUS programs (Air, Land and Marine) into one in December 2006 to further improve NEXUS service to the travelling public

    • NEXUS is designed to streamline and expedite the border clearance process using dedicated lanes for low-risk, pre-approved travellers while enhancing security (initially only available at Vancouver International Airport)

    • On February 12, 2007, Minister Day announced that the NEXUS Enrolment Centre and automated self-serve kiosks are now operational at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and that NEXUS will expand to six more airports across Canada (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax)

    • As of April 2007, NEXUS members at airports in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal are enjoying the benefits of membership


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    NEXUS Overview

    • Over 120,000 members enjoy the benefits of expedited cross-border travel

    • NEXUS membership is free for children under the age of 18

    • NEXUS in the air mode uses self-serve kiosks equipped with iris recognition biometric technology

    • NEXUS in the land mode uses dedicated NEXUS lanes at designated land locations. Members show their NEXUS card which uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology

    • NEXUS in the marine mode allows recreational boaters to call a marine telephone reporting centre in advance to report entry


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    Recent Developments / Key Announcements

    At the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America summit, held in Ottawa on February 23, 2007, Minister Day announced progress on WHTI via three fronts:

    • U.S. government announced that Canadian and American citizens aged 15 and younger will be exempt from passport requirements when travelling by land and sea

    • Canada will work with British Columbia and Washington State on the development of their driver’s licence pilots

    • Minister Day and Secretary Chertoff agreed on the Recommended Standards for Secure Proof of Status and Nationality Documents to Facilitate Cross-Border Travel


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    Analysis of Current Federal and Provincial Documents

    • Federal Documents Reviewed

      • Certificate of Indian Status

      • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship

      • Permanent Resident Card

    • Provincial / Territorial Documents Reviewed

      • Driver’s Licence

      • Birth Certificate

    • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is currently piloting a redeveloped Certificate of Indian Status card that is far more secure than its predecessor

    • Finalization of the gap analysis and costing estimates of provincial / territorial documents is nearing completion


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    Enhanced Driver’s Licence Pilot

    • On March 23, 2007, Washington State signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to work together on the development of an enhanced driver’s licence pilot for Washington State.

    • This agreement formalizes a shared objective of exploring an alternative to the passport under the new U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI

    • Secure driver’s licence with a cross-border travel option, to meet WHTI requirements

    • British Columbia / Washington State Working Group

    • Three (3) Premiers visit to Washington, DC, on February 27, 2007

      • Premiers of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Manitoba raised WHTI concerns and proposed acceptance of alternate documents, such as an enhanced DL

    • CBSA will continue working with DHS to obtain clarity regarding implementation plans for the Washington State Pilot


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    WHTI - Next Steps

    • Continue working with GC partners and stakeholders on Canada’s response to the WHTI

      • Continue exploring the feasibility of using Provincial / Territorial documents for cross border travel

      • Seek stakeholder advice to mitigate the impacts of the WHTI

    • Ongoing meetings with senior officials from CBSA / DHS / CBP

      • Ensure progress on the B.C. / WA driver’s licence pilots

      • Seek explicit recognition of NEXUS and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) programs for land and sea rule

      • Ensure that a clear implementation plan for land and sea is prepared

    • Regular meetings between Minister Day and Secretary Chertoff to discuss WHTI progress


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    Questions

    • Please do not hesitate to contact:

      Janet Rumball

      Acting Director General

      Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

      Tel: (613) 957-1229

    • More information on the WHTI can be found at:

      www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca


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