The US CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs are beloved by many members for their expedited entry to the US, though the programs require application, in-person interview and a fee. Now the kiosk aspect of this is being launched as Automated Passport Control (APC) in Vancouver. Us in the US have Canadians to thank for this as the DHS press release gives credit to the Vancouver Airport Authority:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Vancouver Airport Authority worked together to implement Automated Passport Control. The Airport Authority developed the concept and built out the technology; CBP partnered with YVR to allow this technology to be implemented and ensuring CBP security and privacy requirements were incorporated. Automated Passport Control does not require pre-registration, is easy to use and maintains the highest levels of protection when it comes to the handling of personal data or information. As a result, travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion, and faster processing at YVR.
The process is not as slick as Global Entry:
Instead of filling out a declaration card and taking their travel documents to a CBP officer, passengers who are eligible and choose to use Automated Passport Control can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance area. Travelers will follow the on-screen instructions to scan their U.S. passport, answer the customs declaration questions using the touch screen, receive a receipt confirming their information and proceed to the CBP officer to finalize processing. The kiosk allows up to four people residing at the same address to be processed together.
Chicago O’Hare was quickly announced as the first US airport that will launch APC. A date is not specified in the press release, however Executive Travel reports that 32 kiosks will be in operation by July 1.
It appears anyone who does not need an I-94 is eligible to use the kiosks.
Travel really does seem to be the great uniter, last month that, and only that part of the sequester, got the elected folks in Washington to agree on something, and now the DHS welcomes a Canadian helping hand.