CBSA will start tracking exits from Canada

The Government of Canada collects biographic entry information on all travellers entering the country, but currently has no reliable way of knowing when and where they leave the country.

Currently, Canada and the U.S. exchange biographic entry information on third-country nationals and permanent residents, so that entry into one country serves as an exit record from the other. Canada also shares with the U.S. biographic entry information on U.S. citizens and nationals. This collection and exchange has proven to be seamless to the traveller. There have been no delays at the border and no impact on traveller experience.

Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act, which provides the CBSA with the authority to collect basic biographic information on all travellers exiting Canada by land and air, received Royal Assent in December 2018.

Once the related regulations and information sharing arrangements are also in place, the CBSA will begin to collect biographic exit information on all travellers. These changes will not impact the movement of legitimate travellers (i.e., no anticipated delays at the border). Canada will know when and where someone enters the country, and when and where they leave the country by land and air.

The Government of Canada will achieve this by working closely with its U.S. counterparts and exchanging biographic entry information on all travellers (including Canadian citizens) at the land border. The CBSA will receive biographic entry information from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shortly after a traveller enters the U.S. The record of entry from the U.S. will serve as a record of exit from Canada. Similarly, Canada will also provide biographic entry information to the U.S. to create a record of exit for the U.S.

The CBSA will also collect biographic exit information on all air travellers, including passengers and crew members, when they leave or are expected to leave Canada. The CBSA will receive exit information directly from air carriers in the form of electronic passenger manifests. The CBSA will not exchange passenger manifest information collected in the air mode with the U.S.

In addition, Bill C-21 consists of new authorities for CBSA officers to ask any person leaving Canada to present themselves to a CBSA officer if they are requested to do so, and answer questions asked by the officer in the performance of their duties. CBSA officers will also be able to examine goods that are to be exported at any time up to the time of exportation.


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