Canada planning technological fixes to make crossing the border faster
Facial recognition, advance customs declarations, electronic gates are among the planned changes
Zipping through the Canada-U.S. border in 15 seconds. Facial recognition cameras at the airport to open an electronic gate. Sending your declaration to customs before you even get off the plane.
Those are just some of the changes in the works at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) — partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Denis Vinette, vice-president of the CBSA’s travellers branch, said the agency had been considering technological changes to the border — but the pandemic has allowed it to break through “glass ceilings” that were in the way.
When COVID-19 hit, the CBSA was confronted with a challenge, Vinette said — how could officers handle the “mounds of paper” and medical information the Public Health Agency of Canada required travellers to present?
The solution was to move to an internet cloud environment and to develop the ArriveCan app, he said.
“ArriveCan, even though we’ve got low travel volumes, has been really a game-changer,” said Vinette. “It’s allowed us to deal with information required in a new way and nimble way.”
The ArriveCan app also set the stage for a new system that has been introduced already at the Toronto and Vancouver airports. The system allows travellers returning to Canada to voluntarily send their customs declarations to CBSA before their plane even lands.
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Source: CBC News
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