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Homeland Security

Fact Sheet: Beyond the Border Pre-Inspection and Pre-Clearance

Release Date: 
December 6, 2011

Through the Beyond the Border initiative, the United States and Canada are committed to enhancing security while facilitating lawful travel and trade. Pre-inspection and pre-clearance are important tools for achieving these goals.

Under pre-inspection, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers make passenger admissibility decisions abroad. The inspection of accompanying goods, baggage, and/or passenger vehicles takes place upon arrival in the United States.

Pre-clearance is the process by which CBP Officers stationed abroad screen and make admissibility decisions about passengers and their accompanying goods or baggage heading to the United States before they leave a foreign port. CBP Officers do, however, retain the authority to inspect these passengers and their accompanying goods or baggage after arriving in the United States should it be warranted. CBP Officers currently conduct pre-clearance operations in Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Ireland and at eight Canadian airports: Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

Through the Beyond the Border Action Plan, the United States and Canada commit to enhancing and expanding pre-inspection and pre-clearance operations.

Read more about pre-inspection and pre-clearance initiatives in the Beyond the Border Action Plan.

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