Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and James D. Nealon, Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy on behalf of Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole, announced that the governments of Canada and the United States have agreed to the mutual recognition of, and cooperation on, air cargo security in both countries.

Under the new mutual recognition initiative, cargo shipped on passenger aircraft will now be screened only once for transportation security reasons, at the point of origin, and will not need to be re-screened prior to upload on an aircraft in the other country. This will reduce delays and economic costs caused by countries screening the same cargo twice.

“With our vast geography, Canada’s economy relies on the safe and efficient movement of goods by air. Mutual recognition of air cargo security programs will improve efficiency and cut costs for businesses and consumers on both sides of the border,” said Minister Lebel. In Canada, just under half of all air cargo is shipped on passenger planes. Last year, approximately $100 billion of goods were imported and exported by air.

“The mutual recognition of air cargo security programs is just one of the first initiatives in the Beyond the Border: Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama,” added Deputy Chief of Mission, Nealon. “Through this program, we will be able to move goods between U.S. and Canada faster, more efficiently, and most securely.”

The Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan, published in December 2011, establishes initiatives to improve the ability to manage security risks in both countries, while reducing the burden on business. The action plan focuses on four areas:  addressing threats early; facilitating trade, economic growth and jobs; integrating cross-border law enforcement; and strengthening critical infrastructure and cyber security.