Backgrounder — Facilitating the Conduct of Cross-Border Business

Purpose

As part of the commitments included in the Beyond the Border Action Plan relating to the facilitation of the conduct of cross-border business, the Canadian and U.S. governments will jointly hold consultations with stakeholders in both Canada and the United States.

Overview

The objective of these consultations will be to (1) receive comments from interested stakeholders on the cross-border business facilitation commitment included in the Action Plan; and (2) identify and assess additional ways to facilitate relevant processes in the near and medium terms through administrative, policy, regulatory and operational improvements, for business travellers. Specifically, governments want to hear stakeholder views on the following commitments made under the Action Plan:

  • Provide enhanced administrative guidance and training to border officers and enhanced operational manuals to achieve optimal operational consistency at all ports of entry on business traveller issues.
  • Implement operational and administrative policies and requirements to facilitate the movement of specialized personnel to perform maintenance and repairs of industrial machinery and critical operations systems.
  • Pursue changes to existing rules authorizing temporary entry of business visitors who provide after-sale service, so they apply equally to those who provide after-lease service as per designated contractual agreements.
  • Implement specific approaches to incorporate designating documents onto the NEXUS client profile for predictable expedited clearances.
  • Review current administrative processes under which all categories of business travellers may request adjudication of employment and related petitions by the destination country's immigration authorities to identify and resolve potential issues prior to the actual date of travel. Based on this review, and with the objective of increasing the use of the advanced processes, improve current processes and, as appropriate, establish new processes.
  • Review the effectiveness of existing redress and recourse mechanisms for business travellers whose applications are denied, and identify and implement administrative and operational improvements.

In addition, stakeholders will be encouraged to identify additional initiatives to facilitate the conduct of cross-border business.

A report on the progress on these items and an action plan for the implementation of new initiatives will be completed by December 31, 2012. The report will be distributed to stakeholders and will identify mechanisms for regular stakeholder engagement on issues related to cross-border business.

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