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'Inspected Once - Cleared Twice' Is Goal Of International Trade Experiment


A seaport in northern British Columbia is serving as the test site for a venture to make international cargo inspections more efficient.

The Canadian consulate in Seattle briefed Washington state legislators Friday about this and other initiatives to ease cross-border travel amidst tightened security. Consul Edith St-Hilaire distilled the concept behind the pilot project to this: "Inspected Once - Cleared Twice."

"For example, if a ship comes to the port of Seattle and is inspected by CBP and then the cargo goes north to the port of Vancouver, we should not have to re-inspect it when it crosses the border."

Since last fall, Canadian agents in Prince Rupert have done security and contraband checks on containers bound for the United States. As the cargo moves onward, it can be waved across the northern border provided there are no signs of recent tampering.

St-Hilaire expects that if the pilot project goes well, it will be expanded to competing ports around here.

Canada is among the top trading partners for most U.S. states.

On the Web:

Prince Rupert "Integrated Cargo Security Strategy" pilot project - CBSA

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.