Canada to release security standards for exporters

The Canada Border Services Agency is preparing to release a draft of its updated security measures for Canadian transportation and trade companies that want to get preferential treatment in trade with the United States. The agency expects to release the draft by March 31 and begin taking public comments.

Canada's modernized Partners in Protection will begin operating on June 30 if the agency approves the draft provisions after the comment period, the border agency said in a news release. The goal is to better align Canada's trade partnership program with the U.S. Homeland Security Department's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, which offers preferential treatment to trade and transportation companies that submit documents and agree to expanded federal oversight of their supply chains. About 7,000 companies currently are members of the U.S. partnership.

Companies approved as part of the Partners in Protection program must follow the agency's security requirements. They include stipulations for data handling and data protection, as well as for physical, conveyance, personnel and supply chain security. The rules apply to air, highway, rail and marine carriers; importers; exporters; warehouse operators; and couriers and customs brokers, among others.

The updated data security and physical security requirements may present opportunities for government contractors active in information technology security, storage and maintenance; identification management; and facility security.

Canada and the United States have been negotiating recognition of each other's programs. "The CBSA continues to work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure the alignment of both programs and to negotiate mutual recognition," the news release said.

The new rules are to be aligned with international standards such as the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade and the Authorized Economic Operator concept of the World Customs Organization, the border agency said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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