United States border preclearance


United States border preclearance

The United States maintains border preclearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign countries. Operated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service, travelers pass through Immigration and Customs, Public Health, and Department of Agriculture inspections before boarding their aircraft, ship or train. This process is intended to streamline border procedures, to reduce congestion at ports of entry, and to facilitate travel between the preclearance location and some U.S. airports that may not be equipped to handle international travellers.

Preclearance exists at most major Canadian airports, providing convenience to travellers from those cities to the U.S. Arrangements also exist with some airports in Bermuda, The Bahamas, Aruba and 2 airports in Ireland. In Canada, U.S. Border Preclearance is also known by its French name, Prédédouanement. When travelers from a preclearance port arrive in the U.S. they do so as domestic travelers (and are not subject to further inspections). This is particularly beneficial to those who have an ongoing connection (such as a connecting flight), as there is no risk of border delays causing them to miss their connection. (A corresponding drawback, however, is that a delay in preclearance could cause the passenger to miss the outbound flight.) Air travelers with further connections have their baggage checked through to their destination; without preclearance the baggage would have to be collected prior to customs inspection and then checked-in for the subsequent flight.

Preclearance provides considerable flexibility to the airlines operating in those routes where such program is available. For example, major U.S airlines and their subsidiaries routinely operate many daily flights from locations like Toronto, Ontario, Canada, or Nassau, Bahamas, to New York City. Thanks to the presence of preclearance facilities in Toronto and Nassau, the airlines can conveniently direct their flights from these locations to land at LaGuardia Airport, rather than the much larger and busier John F. Kennedy International Airport. This allows them to save the valuable space at JFK for their other international arrivals.

Preclearance applies to both U.S. citizens as well as citizens of most other countries who travel to the US. As the U.S. requires those in transit through the U.S. to pass through U.S. immigration (unlike many other countries, which permit airside transfers), preclearance also applies to transit passengers.

These facilities exist because of agreements made between the federal government of the United States and the government of the host country. Travelers who have passed through the U.S. government checks, but whose flight or ship has not departed, remain in the legal jurisdiction of the host country. U.S. officials may question and search travelers, but they do not have powers of arrest (either for customs or immigration violations, or for the execution of outstanding warrants), although they can deny boarding. Local criminal laws apply, and are enforced by local officials.

Canada

Informal preclearance arrangements between the U.S. and Canada began in Toronto, Ontario, in 1952, following a request from American Airlines. This was extended and formalized with Canada's passage of the Air Transport Preclearance Act passed by the Canadian House of Commons in 1974, the [http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/1999/20/2689.html#rid-2690 1999 Preclearance Act (Bill S-22)] and with the 2001 Canada-U.S. Agreement on Air Transport Preclearance. [ [http://w01.international.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.aspx?isRedirect=True&publication_id=380038&Language=E Press release] by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade] The following Canadian airports operate U.S. preclearance facilities:

*Calgary International Airport
*Edmonton International Airport
*Halifax Stanfield International Airport
*Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
*Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
*Toronto Pearson International Airport
*Vancouver International Airport
*Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport

The U.S. operates a preclearance post at Pacific Central Station (Vancouver) for Amtrak Cascades rail service between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.

The U.S. operates preclearance posts at both the port of Vancouver and the port of Victoria. This is particularly valuable to travellers using cruise liners which visit Alaska or that depart from Vancouver and have a first stop at other US coastal cities situated along the west coast of North America (Seattle, Astoria, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego).

Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean

Informal preclearance with Bermuda began in 1960. The Bahamas and the U.S. signed a treaty in June 1974 formalizing the process.
*Aruba - Queen Beatrix International Airport
*The Bahamas - Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport
*The Bahamas - Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau
*Bermuda - Bermuda International Airport

Ireland

The U.S. and Ireland entered into a [http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/D/0367/D.0367.198606060003.html preclearance arrangement] in 1986. Only immigration checks are performed, with customs and agriculture inspections still done on arrival in the U.S. — therefore passengers from Ireland must still land at international terminals.

Dublin Airport's Terminal 2, currently being built, will have full US Customs and Border Protection facilities. This will allow passengers from T2 to leave US airports (including domestic airports, if any airline decides to serve them) upon landing without further inspection. Shannon will have similar facilities by the end of 2008.

*Shannon Airport
*Dublin Airport

References

ee also

*Immigration to the United States
*List of United States immigration legislation
*United States Department of Homeland Security
*United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

External links

* [http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/preclear_locations.xml CBP website list]
* [http://www.canadianembassy.org/border/transportation-en.asp Preclearance in Canada]
* [http://www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/press_releases/archives/legacy/2002/82002/08132002_2.xml Details of the beginning of preclearance]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bahamas–United States relations — The Bahamas and the United States historically have had close economic and commercial relations. The countries share ethnic and cultural ties, especially in education, and The Bahamas is home to approximately 30,000 American residents. In… …   Wikipedia

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection — Abbreviation CBP Patch of CBP …   Wikipedia

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport — This article is about the Canadian airport. For the airfield in the United States, see Pearson Field. For other airports in Toronto, see List of airports in the Greater Toronto Area. YYZ redirects here. For the instrumental by Rush, see YYZ… …   Wikipedia

  • Dublin Airport — Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath IATA: DUB – ICAO: EIDW …   Wikipedia

  • Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport — Montréal Airport redirects here. For other airports in Montréal, see List of airports in the Montréal area. YUL redirects here. For other uses, see Yul. Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport Aéroport international Pierre Elliott… …   Wikipedia

  • Calgary International Airport — Infobox Airport name = Calgary International Airport IATA = YYC ICAO = CYYC type = Public owner = Transport Canada [ [http://www.tc.gc.ca/programs/Airports/Status/menu.htm Airport Divestiture Status Report] ] operator = Calgary Airport Authority… …   Wikipedia

  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport — Ottawa Airport redirects here. For other airports in Ottawa, see List of airports in the Ottawa area. For the airport serving Ottawa County, Ohio, see Erie Ottawa Regional Airport. For the airport serving Ottawa, Kansas, see Ottawa Municipal… …   Wikipedia

  • John Wayne Airport — IATA …   Wikipedia

  • Lynden Pindling International Airport — IATA: NAS – ICAO: MYNN Summary Airport type Publ …   Wikipedia

  • International airport — An international airport is an airport typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle international flights to and from other countries. Such airports are usually larger, and often feature longer runways and facilities to… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.