Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Canada Border Services Agency

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Section 2: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome              

Canada Border Services Agency Plans and Priorities

The CBSA's Program Activity Architecture (PAA) has one strategic outcome and three program activities.

Strategic Outcome

Border management that contributes to the safety and security of Canada and facilitates the flow of persons and goods.

Program Activities

This Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) reflects the CBSA's efforts to plan and report in accordance with the Management, Resources and Results Structure Policy. The three program activities are Access, Security and Science- and Technology-based Innovation.

Table 2.1: The CBSA's Program Activity Architecture

Strategic Outcome: Border management that contributes to the safety and security of Canada and facilitates the flow of persons and goods.
Program Activity Program Description Expected Result
Access Ensure the lawful flow of people and goods while promoting compliance with border legislation and regulations. The lawful flow of people and goods is facilitated.
Security Within the context of the government's security agenda, and through effective and efficient border management, ensure the safety and security of Canadians. Borders protected against potential threats to Canada's safety and security.
Science- and Technology-based Innovation Utilize the science and technology capacity of the Canada Border Services Agency to modernize border management and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of border operations. Innovative solutions contribute to the safety and security of Canada and facilitate the flow of persons and goods.

Program Activity: Access

The CBSA is responsible for providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods, including animals and plants, that meet all requirements under the program legislation. The Access program activity encompasses the CBSA functions that ensure the flow of lawful people and goods, promote compliance with border legislation and ensure a level playing field for legitimate trade and travel. These functions include the delivery of front-line operations, as well as policy direction and guidance related to the processing of people and goods at the border.

This program activity consists of three sub-activities: trade, access management and recourse, as outlined below.

Table 2.2: Access Program Activity

To ensure the lawful flow of people and goods while promoting
compliance with border legislation and regulations.



Develop and deliver national programs and policies relating to the administration of international trade agreements and domestic legislation with respect to trade in commercial goods.
Access Management
Provide border services that facilitate the free movement of people and goods, including plants and animals, that comply with all requirements stemming from border legislation.
Develop and deliver the administrative review of CBSA decisions related to trade programs and enforcement sanctions.

Table 2.3: Access Program Activity — Financial and Human Resources

(Thousands of dollars)
Financial Resources






(Full-time equivalents)
Human Resources






The Access program activity encompasses regional border operations and headquarters (HQ) and support services involved in managing the access of people and goods into Canada. Given the importance of these activities to Canada's prosperity, the CBSA is constantly reviewing the operating environment and procedures to identify innovative ways of improving the processing of people and goods without compromising national security or public safety.

The CBSA will undertake several activities under the Access program activity in 2008–2009 that will support the priorities laid out in this RPP. The Agency will develop an Integrated Risk Management Framework (IRMF), which will include the design and initial implementation of a compliance management plan. The Agency will develop or enhance numerous commercial and traveller processing solutions, such as eManifest, Passenger Name Record (PNR) and enhanced driver's licences, to facilitate the processing of people and goods while enhancing border security. Finally, the CBSA will continue to collaborate closely with its domestic and international partners to ensure a fluid evolution of border management practices that facilitate the flow of legitimate travellers and goods across the border without sacrificing the border's security.

Sub-activity: Trade

One of the key elements of the CBSA's border management responsibilities is the administration of a facilitative and transparent trade program that supports the competitiveness of Canadian business. This includes the development and delivery of national programs and policies that guide the import and export trading community in the application of international trade agreements and domestic legislation with respect to commercial goods. In order to ensure and promote compliance with trade program requirements in the business community, the CBSA undertakes a wide range of client service and verification activities, including making advance rulings, reviewing tariff classifications, conducting valuation and origin reviews and audits, administering trade incentives, taking anti-dumping and countervailing actions, and collecting duties and taxes.

The CBSA supports Canada's trade agenda, most of which is governed by international agreements, by participating in international trade and customs committees. In these forums, the Agency advances Canadian interests and positions, and negotiates with its trading partners to ensure clarity and fairness in international trade. It also assists in the defence of Canadian interests against trade sanctions by foreign governments and encourages the removal of barriers to foreign markets.

Trade Agreements

In 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue negotiations toward free-trade agreements with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean Community and Colombia.

The CBSA will continue to provide support and expertise to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Department of Finance in the negotiation of Canada's free-trade agreements and at World Trade Organization negotiations. The Agency will also work with these departments in the presentation and defence of Canada's position under international agreements and in any trade-dispute panels.

Compliance Measures and Awareness Tools

Throughout 2008–2009, the CBSA will conduct activities to address compliance issues related to all of its trade programs, in particular, tariff classification. A review of the compliance measurement process is underway to streamline and improve the quality of baseline compliance rates. A national monitoring program, to ensure compliance by importers who have been verified or who have received facilitation advice, is being developed for implementation in 2008–2009. Components of the compliance management system, a tool to assist officers in verification work, and a quality assurance program, under which verification officers monitor national consistency, were piloted in 2007–2008 and will gradually be implemented in 2008–2009 and 2009–2010.

One of the roles that the CBSA plays in facilitating legitimate travel and trade is educating the public in the areas of border legislation and non-compliance issues. In 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue its education and outreach efforts to inform the public of border legislative requirements, particularly as they relate to non-compliance issues. These activities will address both the traveller and commercial streams. They include information on specific programs, as well as general information for new importers.

Sub-activity: Access Management

The CBSA plays a critical role in providing border services that facilitate the free movement into Canada of low-risk people and goods, including plants and animals, that comply with all border legislation requirements. Programs like NEXUS and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) are designed to expedite the Canada–U.S. border clearance process for pre-approved travellers and eligible goods. Programs also aid in verifying trade compliance away from the border. Additional border services that facilitate the free flow of low-risk people and goods into Canada include the Canadian Passenger System (CANPASS), the Commercial Driver Registration Program, the Customs Self Assessment (CSA) program and the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program. In addition, the CBSA conducts compliance verification to ensure that the movement of people and goods is compliant with border legislation and related regulations.

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a new U.S. law now in place for air travel. This law will eventually require all Canadians (and Americans) to have a valid passport or other secure citizenship and identity documents when entering or re-entering the United States.

Recent U.S. legislation postponed the full implementation of the WHTI requirements at land and water points of entry until June 1, 2009. Throughout the 2008–2009 fiscal year, the CBSA will remain committed to working with its U.S. counterparts to ensure that Canada's response is coordinated and, ultimately, that the WHTI is implemented in a way that minimizes the effects on the economy and border communities of both countries.

Canada and the United States will continue to work together to identify alternative documents to the passport that could be used for border-crossing purposes. As part of this effort, the CBSA is supporting the implementation of enhanced driver's licences (EDLs), which serve as a valid driver's licence and denote citizenship. The EDL will act as an alternative to the passport for entry by land or water into the United States. The CBSA will work with federal and provincial partners to provide support in the areas of fraud training and document security, and to conduct a review of Canada's first EDL program, which was recently launched in British Columbia.

In addition, in 2008–2009, the CBSA will collaborate with federal, provincial and territorial partners to conclude memoranda of understanding to implement EDL programs, with the aim of expanding the EDL program to all interested Canadians in the future.

Refugee Processing

As part of the CBSA's mandate for the management of the border, CBSA officers examine refugee claimants seeking protection in Canada. These examinations are undertaken on behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as part of the Agency's responsibility to implement the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act at ports of entry. Through the examinations, the admissibility of the claimants as well as their eligibility to make a refugee claim in Canada are determined. By fulfilling this responsibility, the CBSA plays a critical role in supporting Canada's international obligation to protect refugees while protecting the safety and security of Canada.

Core Services Review

In 2008–2009, through its core services review, the CBSA anticipates continuing consultations with stakeholders and other government departments to develop options for a transparent and equitable policy framework to assess requests for passenger clearance services while ensuring the best distribution of CBSA resources, taking into account resource levels, human resource requirements, security and service to the public.

Sub-activity: Recourse

The Recourse program is responsible for providing clients with a fair and impartial review of decisions and actions taken in support of border services legislation, as well as for developing recourse-related programs and policies. The objective is to make and support timely, consistent and transparent recourse decisions that contribute to the security, protection and economic prosperity of Canada.

The program provides for the administrative review of trade disputes relating to the CBSA's decisions regarding tariff classification, value for duty and origin, and the appropriate marking of imported goods under the Customs Act. It also provides for the review of enforcement-related actions taken under the Customs Act, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act. This sub-activity also supports the associated tribunal and court appeals processes in relation to both trade and enforcement matters, and it manages Canadian Human Rights Commission cases involving allegations of discrimination from the public regarding the services provided by the CBSA. The CBSA is committed to ensuring that the recourse process is accessible and transparent, and provides a level playing field for travellers and traders.


  • The CBSA collected $10.1 million in duties and $58.3 million in GST/HST daily.
  • An average of 17,600 trucks arrived every day, with 10,300 of these cleared through the southern Ontario border crossings.
  • The CBSA cleared 230,000 trains and marine vessels.

Program Activity: Security

The Security program activity supports the CBSA's strategic outcome, particularly the “safety and security of Canada” component.

The program activity and sub-activities are outlined below.

Table 2.4: Security Program Activity

Within the context of the government's security agenda, and through effective and efficient border management, ensure the safety and security of Canadians.

Sub-activities Intelligence
Collect, analyze and distribute intelligence in support of the CBSA's programs. Conduct threat and risk assessments.
Provide guidance in the enforcement of all border legislation.

Table 2.5: Security Program Activity — Financial and Human Resources

(Thousands of dollars)
Financial Resources






(Full-time equivalents)
Human Resources






The Security program activity encompasses most of the CBSA's international operations, some regional border operations and HQ and support services involved in ensuring the safety and security of Canadians. Given the scope of these activities, it is vital that the CBSA understand its current operating environment and processes fully, and look for innovative ways to secure the border.

Throughout 2008–2009, the Agency will continue to work with its Public Safety portfolio partners to increase cooperation and relationship building with other Government of Canada departments in order to address major threats to public safety and security, including those of terrorism, pandemics or other sources. The Security program activity comprises two sub-activities: Intelligence and Enforcement. Several Security-related activities will be undertaken in 2008–2009.

Of specific interest will be the continuation of the Arming Initiative, including a focus on the design of a mandated annual re-certification regime for the firearms re-qualification of armed CBSA officers and an evaluation of CBSA-associated training to ensure that operational requirements are met. The development and enhancement of commercial and traveller processing solutions, such as Harmonized Risk Scoring, the Primary Automated Lookout System replacement and the Electronic Primary Inspection Line (E-PIL), will serve to enhance border security and the safety and security of all Canadians. Finally, the CBSA will continue to work closely with its domestic and international partners to ensure that Canada's border is as secure as possible, while balancing the need to provide an efficient passage for legitimate travellers and goods.

Examples of key activities for 2008–2009 under the Security program activity are included below.

Sub-activity: Intelligence

The CBSA relies on intelligence-based decision making to identify high-risk travellers and contraband goods bound for Canada. In accordance with its multiple borders approach, the CBSA screens people and goods at several points along the travel continuum: at the earliest opportunity overseas, in transit and on arrival at the Canadian border. Receiving and reviewing documentation in advance improves the CBSA's ability to target and interdict inadmissible people and goods, and acts as a deterrent to those contemplating illegal immigration activities or the importation/exportation of contraband.

The Intelligence sub-activity includes initiatives related to guiding and coordinating the CBSA's intelligence operations across Canada and abroad (e.g. participating in interdepartmental and international counter-proliferation working groups, issuing export control lookouts and developing proliferation intelligence files), and providing direct support to the Agency's front-line officers. This sub-activity also includes initiatives related to the collection, analysis, distribution and sharing of intelligence regarding threats to national security, including terrorism, war crimes, organized crime, smuggling, fraud and irregular migration.

Compliance Management Plan

As a key part of the Agency's efforts to manage both enterprise and operational risks to ensure effective program delivery, the CBSA will continue to develop an Integrated Risk Management Framework (IRMF). The IRMF will include a compliance management plan to be phased in at the beginning of the 2008–2009 fiscal year. The plan will include targeting activities that will link targeting decisions to identified levels of risk. Work is under way to develop options for the governance structure and conceptual framework. The CBSA will review and select options for centralized and regionalized models by summer 2008.

This work will also include an analysis of the various risk-assessment tools currently in place, with a view toward integrating risk-management and compliance activities across the CBSA's three business lines: people; goods; food, plants and animals.


In late 2007–2008, the CBSA decided to establish a single functional authority to manage its targeting activities. Enhanced targeting practices will be achieved through improved risk-scoring, pattern-detection and trend-analysis tools, as well as by identifying and monitoring additional targeting-specific risks related to data systems, data quality, resources capacity and training. This will help to ensure national consistency across these functions.

In addition, a program review will be conducted of the Winfall program to ensure that it continues to be the Agency's most effective and efficient rail targeting solution. Winfall allows the Agency to conduct targeting of rail shipments before they arrive at the border for the purpose of identifying shipments that are at high risk for containing contraband. The review will be completed by the end of the 2008–2009 fiscal year.

Migration Integrity Officers

The CBSA has 44 migration integrity officers (MIOs) and three intelligence liaison officers located in 39 key locations abroad. By the end of 2008–2009, the CBSA intends to have 55 MIOs in 45 overseas locations.

The Migration Integrity Officer program encompasses information gathering, analysis and reporting related to visa or immigration application fraud, organized crime, irregular migration, public security and terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Migration Integrity Officer program policy is aimed at protecting the integrity of the Canadian immigration selection system, the refugee determination process and the safety and security of Canadian society, including the interdiction of persons inadmissible to Canada.

Information is gathered through a network of contacts with host-country officials, officials from other governments in the designated region, airline personnel and law-enforcement agents, and it is used by CBSA senior management, operational staff and other government departments such as CIC.

MIOs support the integrity of the overseas immigration program through anti-fraud activities, which include identifying fraud indicators for visa officers and conducting site visits in connection with suspicious applications. MIOs provide training to local airlines and authorities to identify false and altered travel documents. These officers maintain a steady flow of information and are key to building sound intelligence concerning illegal migration patterns and trends.

In 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue to work with CIC and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to support its employees abroad. It will enhance the information-sharing protocols used by its officers abroad, the CBSA's National Risk Assessment Centre, CBSA HQ and other government departments.


A "lookout" is an intelligence product designed to identify a person, corporation, conveyance or shipment that may constitute a threat or be of interest for further scrutiny before crossing the border. The CBSA is working to enhance the management of lookouts in the future using technology.

By gathering high-level business requirements and reviewing current methods for monitoring lookout practices, the Agency will develop options and associated costing for implementing an integrated lookout data system.

Container Security Initiative

Since March 2005, Canada has partnered with the United States on the Container Security Initiative (CSI), a multinational program that protects the primary system of global trade — containerized shipping — from being exploited or disrupted by terrorists. The CSI is designed to safeguard global maritime trade, while allowing cargo containers to move faster and more efficiently through the supply chain at seaports worldwide.

Under this partnership program, and in accordance with the CBSA's multiple borders strategy of “pushing the border out,” the CBSA negotiates agreements with other nations that allow for the deployment of officers to foreign countries to work with local authorities in the targeting and verification of shipping containers and the identification of high-risk containers before they are loaded onto vessels bound for Canada.

In 2008–2009, the CBSA will implement an agreement, signed between Canada and Panama in November 2007, that is the first step in allowing CBSA officers to be deployed to Panama. In January 2008, CSI officers were posted to South Africa.

Sub-activity: Enforcement

One of the primary functions of CBSA officers is to identify and take appropriate enforcement action to minimize the risks of dangerous people and goods entering and remaining in Canada. Through the Enforcement sub-activity, the CBSA provides guidance in the enforcement of all border legislation and ensures enhanced national security by equipping CBSA officers with the tools they need to do their jobs, such as modern contraband detection equipment and X-ray and gamma-ray equipment. This work also includes developing and delivering appropriate enforcement policies and procedures and building and maintaining key partnerships with domestic and international law-enforcement agencies, promoting partnerships and sharing information. Additional responsibilities related to this sub-activity include investigating individuals who commit offences against Canadian border legislation, making recommendations for prosecution, and detaining and removing people who have no legal right to remain in Canada, especially those who pose a threat to Canadian society.

The CBSA, in its enforcement activity in 2008–2009 will focus on the problem of illegal firearms trafficking, particularly as it concerns illegal firearms smuggled into Canada by organized crime and gangs.

In conjunction with the RCMP, the CBSA will place a high emphasis on measures to prevent trafficking in illegal firearms by organized crime and gangs.

Arming Initiative

At the beginning of 2008–2009, more than 250 CBSA officers will have been trained and equipped with duty firearms. Building from the comprehensive policy foundation relating to arming that was set in place in 2007, the CBSA will move forward with the implementation of the Arming Initiative that will ultimately train and equip a total of 4,800 CBSA officers over 10 years. The Arming Initiative serves to strengthen the security of our border and enhances the safety of CBSA officers, particularly when confronted by dangerous individuals potentially involved in organized crime activities such as the trafficking of illegal firearms.

The CBSA has identified the following activities for the 2008–2009 fiscal year: training delivery, the monitoring of new policies, further development of information technology (IT) support, the construction and renovation of facilities and other infrastructure, and the implementation strategy.

During 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue consultations with other departments and agencies, as well as with other government organizations that have undertaken similar arming initiatives. The Agency recognizes the importance of ensuring a comprehensive and appropriate arming program and is working toward implementing associated human resources policies and processes, in addition to ensuring that adequate training continues to be delivered to its employees.

Specifically, the existing training regime will continue with the objective of deploying an additional 550 armed officers to the field by March 31, 2009. To ensure that the skills obtained remain current, as well as to enhance the safety of both those crossing the border and its officers, the CBSA will design a comprehensive re-certification regime. This regime will ensure that appropriate requirements and standards are in place and assessed annually for officer re-qualification on the use of firearms.

The CBSA will strengthen program integrity through the development of a regime to monitor compliance with Arming Initiative policies and procedures, as well as mechanisms to assess the performance and continued relevance of policies, operational processes and program effectiveness related to arming.

Finally, the CBSA will take steps in 2008–2009 to address some of the infrastructure needs of the Arming Initiative by building/expanding the training facility in Rigaud, Quebec, to accommodate arming-related training requirements.

Ending Work-alone Situations

In 2008–2009, the Agency will continue to hire new permanent officers to eliminate work-alone situations at sites identified under the Doubling-up Initiative. As implementation is phased in, there will continue to be regular consultations with the unions, the regions and Agency branches to ensure that an efficient and timely process is followed. Related operational and human resources requirements will be closely monitored and appropriate measures will be employed to manage any potential issues that may arise. The strategy is to have 150 of the 400 new permanent officers required in place by March 31, 2009, to help eliminate situations where officers work alone.

This initiative faces funding challenges due to the omission of several costing components required for initial implementation as well as a lack of ongoing funding. These components include infrastructure modifications at locations that have facility and/or accommodation requirements, and increased management and administrative support costs resulting from the staffing of 400 new officers.

Proposed Enhanced Enforcement Authorities

The CBSA is applying to the Department of Justice for its recommendation that the Agency be added as an investigative body to the schedules of the Privacy Regulations and the Access to Information Regulations. This will facilitate the flow of information between the CBSA and other government departments, enabling the CBSA to better fulfill the enforcement and national security aspects of its mandate. It is hoped that the Department of Justice will make this recommendation by the end of the 2008–2009 fiscal year, and that the regulatory amendments will be completed within the first half of 2009–2010.

The CBSA remains committed to addressing the exportation of stolen vehicles from Canada and will continue to be so throughout the 2008–2009 fiscal year. The Agency is working with its Public Safety Canada and RCMP portfolio partners to develop and implement enhanced export control activities in a focused manner. The CBSA will also benefit from new enforcement authorities in the interdiction of stolen vehicles under proposed automobile theft amendments to the Criminal Code

Finally, proposed amendments to the Customs Act would give CBSA officers additional tools and authorities to enhance the Agency's ability to fulfill its mandate. Specifically, pending the passage of these amendments in 2008–2009, the CBSA will have expanded authorities to combat internal conspiracies, organized crime and national security threats more effectively at ports of entry in designated customs controlled areas.

National Anti-Drug Strategy

The CBSA will receive $3.3 million over two years under the National Anti-Drug Strategy announced in January 2008.

The CBSA will use the funding to improve the detection of illegal drugs and precursor chemicals, which are used in manufacturing illegal drugs. Nearly every illicit drug requires chemicals to be refined to a final, consumable form. Since precursor chemicals also have a wide legitimate use in the production of consumer goods (e.g. pharmaceuticals, fragrances, flavouring agents, petroleum products, fertilizers and paints), stronger detection measures will be put in place.

The CBSA laboratory will receive a portion of the funding for testing precursor chemicals entering Canada. As a result, scientists will be able to determine the uses of the chemicals entering Canada more effectively, which will prevent these chemicals from reaching illegal drug manufacturers.

This funding will also enhance the CBSA's investigation and border intelligence capabilities.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class is a new economic immigration initiative that aims to facilitate the transition for temporary residents with Canadian work experience (workers and students) to become permanent residents. In support of this initiative, the CBSA received funding to combat fraud in both the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Student program. This funding has been allocated to support the expansion of enforcement activities in the domains of interdiction abroad, security screening, intelligence gathering and analysis, inland enforcement and criminal investigations.


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides the authority to detain an individual who is believed to be inadmissible and a danger to the public or is unlikely to appear for examination, an admissibility hearing, or removal from Canada, or in the case where the individual's identity has not been established.

In 2008–2009, the CBSA will formalize agreements with Quebec and Ontario, to be signed in spring/summer 2009, regarding the detention of persons under immigration legislation. The agreements will enable the CBSA to detain individuals in provincial jails.


The CBSA's removal priorities continue to be individuals who pose a threat to the security of Canada, such as those involved in terrorist activities, organized crime and crimes against humanity. In order to protect the integrity of Canada's immigration program, the CBSA also removes refugee claimants whose claims have been denied and other inadmissible persons.

The CBSA participates in joint charter removals with the United States for high-risk removals. In 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue to explore collaborative means for removals, in addition to tracking the number of removals of persons who have no legal right to remain in Canada.

The CBSA will make the most efficient use of its resources by focusing on the removal of high-risk individuals. The Agency will assess its success through the number of inadmissibility reports written, arrests made, removals concluded and high-risk persons removed.

Partners in Protection

The Partners in Protection (PIP) program enlists the cooperation of private industry in efforts to enhance border security, combat organized crime and terrorism, increase awareness of customs compliance issues, and help detect and prevent contraband smuggling. Under this program, the CBSA has developed strategic partnerships with private industry to secure the flow of low-risk, legitimate goods and travellers across the Canadian border.

An enhanced PIP program will include the introduction of minimum-security requirements, along with the verification of security measures before membership approval, as a condition for participation in the program. The CBSA will reassess members' security measures every three years to determine if program participants can maintain their PIP status. An external consultative process to engage stakeholders will be launched as part of this process.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) stipulates that the requirements for the PIP program and those of the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) be made compatible. The CBSA will work toward this end with its U.S. partners in 2008–2009. Negotiations with the United States toward a mutual recognition arrangement are progressing, with the signing of such an arrangement expected in summer 2008.

Air Cargo Security Initiative

The primary objective of the Air Cargo Security (ACS) initiative is to develop a comprehensive air cargo security regime in Canada that will mitigate the risks associated with the introduction of explosives in cargo or mail and the use of cargo aircraft as weapons. Through design and pilot testing, supply-chain programs to identify low-risk cargo will be developed and procedures will be identified to screen high-risk and targeted cargo.

The CBSA will work closely with Transport Canada, the lead on this initiative, to assess overlap and provide advice and expertise in targeting, screening technology and known shipper programs. As international security pressures mount, this initiative and the Agency's participation in it will become more significant.

Three pilot programs will be undertaken in 2008–2009. The first will pilot the known shipper/freight forwarder/air carrier programs. The second will involve evaluating and making recommendations on the possibility of using targeting or risk assessment in the ACS initiative. Finally, the third will involve piloting and evaluating detection technology as a means of screening air cargo.

Through information gathered by the pilot programs, Transport Canada and the CBSA will be able to conduct sufficient analysis to recommend implementation activities and next steps for an integrated enhanced air cargo security program for Canada.

Radiation Detection Technology

Radiation detection technology is completely operational in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Montréal, Quebec; Prince Rupert, British Columbia; and at certain Vancouver, British Columbia sites. In 2008–2009, implementation of radiation detection technology will continue with the goal of completing all planned installations.

Document Fraud Analysis

In 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue its work on document fraud analysis by delivering training to ensure that its officers are able to make the best use of rapidly emerging new technologies used in document security.

The CBSA will deliver formal training, learning and skills maintenance sessions to regional and HQ document specialists that will enable the Agency to keep pace with an international environment that is highly adaptive in the exploitation of documents and fraud-detection programs.

The Agency will continue to engage with national and international partners in the exchange of information, best practices and expertise to increase the detection and prevention of document and identity fraud.

Joint Export Control Enforcement Project

In April 2008, work will begin on a joint export control enforcement project with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of this project is to disrupt the illicit export of controlled and strategic goods to countries of concern and countries under United Nations sanctions.

Strategic goods and technologies include arms, ammunition, implements of war, weapons-related materials or any goods or technologies whose unauthorized export might be contrary to Canadian security, political and international interests.

Security Certificates

In exceptional circumstances, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act permits the use of security certificates signed by the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to expedite the removal of non-Canadians who are inadmissible on the grounds of security, violation of human or international rights, serious criminality or organized criminality. In February 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed the need for security certificates but found some aspects of the process to be unconstitutional. As a result, the Act was amended in February 2008 to enable “special advocates” to examine classified information and to represent the client in closed proceedings. These amendments will strengthen an important public safety tool by making it fairer to the client, while recognizing the need to prevent the disclosure of classified information. In 2008–2009, the CBSA will collaborate with Public Safety Canada, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CIC and the Department of Justice to manage litigation and policy issues arising from the amendments to the Act, and it will manage the security certificate cases that are in detention or have been released on strict conditions.

Program Activity: Science- and Technology-based Innovation

The Science- and Technology-based Innovation program activity supports the Agency's strategic outcome of border management that contributes to the safety and security of Canada and facilitates the flow of persons and goods through the design, development, implementation, delivery and operation of innovative solutions, science and technology in order to deal with the major issues facing border management.

Increasingly, the ability of the CBSA to respond to operational priorities and provide secure and modern border management depends on its capacity to build and deploy modern and innovative IT solutions that are closely aligned with and responsive to the operational demands and priorities of the Agency now and in the future.

The future operating environment of the CBSA is one of ever-shifting challenges and opportunities. To prepare for this future, the Agency will employ innovative, leading-edge technology to facilitate the legitimate trans-border flow of goods and people, while protecting Canada from the threats of terrorist attacks, illegal immigration, illegal drugs and other contraband. The CBSA will integrate tools to automate the assessment and management of risks associated with goods and travellers in processes from pre-arrival at the border to secondary inspections and final release.

The program activity and sub-activities are outlined below.

Table 2.6: Science- and Technology-based Innovation Program Activity

Use the science and technology capacity of the Canada Border Services Agency to modernize border management and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of border operations



Business Solutions/Projects
Interpret business requirements and translate them into technological and science-based solutions. Design, develop and deliver science and technology solutions to support the delivery of border services through major projects.
Border Technology Operations
Enhance the CBSA’s technology operations capacity to improve the performance of national systems.
Laboratory and Scientific Services
Provide laboratory and scientific services to the CBSA, other government departments/agencies and external/ international partners.

Table 2.7: Science- and Technology-based Innovation Program Activity — Financial and Human Resources

(Thousands of dollars)
Financial Resources




(Full-time equivalents)
Human Resources




Activities that support the Science- and Technology-based Innovation program activity employ a diversity of scientific, analytical and technology services and solutions to identify and interdict high-risk people and goods, to collaborate and share information with program partners, and to process people and goods effectively in a risk-based environment. This program activity also provides laboratory and scientific services that include forensic analysis, research and technical advice to support the CBSA in delivering its mandate.

To ensure that Canada remains a world leader in effective integrated border management, the CBSA will work jointly with other government departments and agencies to advance and develop innovative commercial and traveller processing solutions. 

A series of resilient, highly available IT systems and solutions to manage the import and export of goods and the entry of individuals will allow for the early risk assessment of people and commercial shipments, and facilitate the free flow of admissible goods, the enforcement of laws and regulations and support for primary and secondary inspections.

These activities support the ability of the CBSA to respond to operational priorities, provide modern border management and build and deploy modern and innovative IT solutions that are closely aligned with, and responsive to, the operational demands and priorities of the Agency now and in the future.

The following are the main sub-activities under the Science- and Technology-based Innovation program activity.

Sub-activity: Business Solutions/Projects

Included in this sub-activity are the design, development and implementation of science and technology solutions to support the delivery of border services. The CBSA uses its expertise and an innovative approach to interpret business requirements and translate them into technological and science-based solutions for effective border management. This includes systems and programs for facilitating the entry of travellers and goods, and risk-assessment systems supporting border security. The CBSA also places strong emphasis on planning and systems architecture to maximize efficiency and ensure interoperability with other systems within the CBSA and with external partners.

Advance and Develop Commercial Processing Solutions

Through joint initiatives with other government departments and agencies, the CBSA will advance and develop key commercial solutions to facilitate the free flow of trade. These initiatives include the use of advance information systems and technology to enhance risk management and targeting, such as eManifest, Harmonized Risk Scoring — Advance Trade Data and the ACI Bayplan. The CBSA will concentrate its efforts in 2008–2009 on advancing and developing commercial solutions and improving its ability to target non-compliance and protect Canadians from threats.

With the advance information received, the CBSA will be able to analyze risk more effectively and make informed decisions before goods arrive in Canada. Advancements in these areas will support the CBSA's mandate of providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods.

Key commercial solutions include the following:


In 2007, the Government of Canada committed to investing $396 million over a five-year period in eManifest, a key priority under the trilateral SPP that includes Canada, the United States and Mexico. The eManifest initiative continues the work implemented under the ACI program, and it is the next critical step required to improve the ability of the CBSA to detect rail and highway shipments that pose a high or unknown risk to the safety and security of Canadians.

With the passage of proposed amendments to the Customs Act which, among other things, propose that advance commercial information be required from all participants or “links” in the trade chain, the CBSA will be better able to target high-risk shipments while streamlining the entry of low-risk shipments. With these amendments, eManifest will continue to be developed and implemented as planned.

In 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue to develop and deploy eManifest components. With advance electronic cargo information received, the CBSA will be better able to analyze risk and make informed decisions based on rigorous risk assessments before goods arrive in Canada.

eManifest will contribute to a strong economy by facilitating the flow of low-risk trade in a high-volume, time-sensitive trans-border environment. It will “push the border out” and Canadians will be better protected from health, safety, security, contraband and terrorist threats.

Harmonized Risk Scoring — Advance Trade Data

The Harmonized Risk Scoring — Advance Trade Data initiative will enable the Agency to close existing information gaps within the marine commercial supply chain by harmonizing assessment processes with the United States, to the extent possible, and ensuring that these processes meet the standards established by the World Customs Organization. The main objective of the Harmonized Risk Scoring — Advance Trade Data initiative is to improve the effectiveness of the CBSA's risk-management efforts through the collection and analysis of logistical information used to plan and execute the movement of goods across the border and throughout the supply chain. This innovative approach will effectively “push the border out,” thereby enabling serious threats to Canada's health, safety and security to be identified and potentially intercepted before they approach or cross the border. 

In 2008–2009, enhancements to TITAN, the Agency's current automated risk-assessment system, will occur. The CBSA will incorporate a new scoring methodology based on an expanded set of risk indicators into the system and will improve the system's ability to make changes to the scoring methodology based on immediate or emerging threats.

Advancing and Developing Traveller Processing Solutions

The CBSA will develop policies, procedures and systems support, where required, for monitoring the risk level of clients. Through technological advances and initiatives such as the PNR Push initiative and the Primary Automated Lookout System (PALS) replacement, the Agency will focus on advancing and developing people solutions that support its mandate. The CBSA will continue to improve the use of automated risk-assessment systems and explore the potential of new technologies to facilitate and coordinate the movement of travellers into Canada while enhancing border security.

Key people solutions include the following:

PALS Replacement

The PALS replacement will provide border services officers with an improved automated risk-assessment tool for travellers and vehicles seeking entry into Canada at the land border. It will further improve the CBSA's ability to assess risk in both people and conveyances.

Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR)

The API/PNR program enables the Agency to perform risk assessments on air travellers and to analyze their data 24/7 before they arrive in Canada. An initial solution is being developed, called the “push” functionality, that is the direct transfer of data from airline reservation systems to the CBSA. Ongoing work in 2008–2009 will enable the CBSA to continue the development of a more robust and long-term solution that will respect privacy requirements and streamline how the CBSA acquires and processes air passenger data for risk-assessment purposes.

Advancing and Developing Revenue Collection Solutions
CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management

In 2008–2009, the CBSA will continue its work in advancing and re-developing its revenue management programs and systems to bring legacy customs, immigration and food inspection activities into a modernized revenue accounting and management regime. This will strengthen the CBSA's controls and reporting relating to the collection of trade data and the management, accounting and reporting of over $26 billion in annual tax revenues. A feasibility study to explore viable solution options will be completed in 2008–2009.

Sub-activity: Border Technology Operations

Innovative, reliable systems are essential for effective border management. In support of this sub-activity, the CBSA provides secure IT infrastructure, maintains the quality performance of operational systems, and operates and maintains national systems that support the movement of people and goods arriving at the border and the collection of revenues from duties and taxes. This includes researching security-based technological solutions and best practices to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of border operations, security and enforcement. The CBSA also provides support to users in related fields and partners in other organizations.


In light of changes to international passport standards and proposed changes to passport requirements for travel to the United States, the use of biometric technologies will increase. Throughout 2008–2009, the CBSA will develop a vision consistent with the Agency's commitment to the continued use and expansion of biometric technologies.

The CBSA employs biometric technologies through two of its programs, CANPASS Air and NEXUS (highway, marine and air). In addition to the CBSA's current use of biometric technologies, the Agency's science laboratory will remain actively involved in biometric technology research throughout 2008–2009. Subject to national privacy protection laws and requirements, the CBSA has made a commitment to work with international partners (Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States) to develop a framework for the systematic exchange of biometric data. The four countries committed to begin the exchange of relevant identity information, including biometric and biographic identifiers for more effective border and immigration management, by 2009. They intend to create a “real-time” system of information sharing, based on this matching among all four countries, by 2010.

Electronic Primary Inspection Line

Discussions pertaining to a new pilot program, available to Canadian citizens and known as the Electronic Primary Inspection Line (E-PIL), were initiated in late 2007. The pilot program will be conducted at Vancouver International Airport and will begin in fall 2008. This program will use new technology to expedite the movement of low-risk passengers and enable the CBSA to focus more resources on high-risk passengers and goods.

Under the program, rather than handing passports to CBSA agents, travellers will put their passports in an E-PIL kiosk. Low-risk travellers will pass through the primary inspection line quickly, and regulatory authorities will have collected the information they need.

The E-PIL program has the potential to fundamentally change the CBSA's processing procedures, to meet future processing demands and to enhance border clearance for Canadian citizens and permanent residents seeking to enter Canada at international airports.

Sub-activity: Laboratory and Scientific Services

The CBSA offers a diverse range of scientific, analytical and research advisory services. Within this sub-activity, the CBSA provides laboratory and scientific services to CBSA programs and external partners, departments and agencies. The CBSA's research on scientific products and solutions aids in modernizing border management and increases the effectiveness and efficiency of border operations, particularly in relation to security and enforcement. The Agency also has the capacity to perform in-house physical and chemical analyses of industrial commodities and forensic examinations of documents.

Research and Development

The CBSA will continue to conduct research on and design innovative science and technology solutions to border management and remain adaptable to changing technologies and global trends in order to support the movement of people and goods. The Agency will explore opportunities to use modern science and technology to support evidence-based decision making in areas such as the detection of chemicals and biological agents, radiation, nuclear materials, explosives and contraband; forensic document analysis; imported and exported commodities analysis; engineering sensors; and a number of other specialty areas.