2022 CBSA Year in Review: More travellers, more trade, illegal guns and drugs off our streets
From: Canada Border Services Agency
December 13, 2022
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) 2022 highlights demonstrate commitment and hard work to facilitate the free flow of people and goods, support the immigration system, and stop firearms and illegal drugs, like opioids, from entering Canada.
This year, Canada saw travel volumes rebound in step with the removal of COVID-19 border restrictions with 50 million travellers seeking entry to Canada, an increase of 267% from 2021. The Agency also prevented 1,009 firearms (compared to 908 in 2021 – an increase 11%), and 37,749 kilograms of illicit drugs (compared to 21,968 in 2021 – an increase 72%) and other dangerous goods from entering our communities.
From January 1 to October 31, 2022, the CBSA’s 14,000 employees, including 6,500 officers, working across Canada and around the world worked to:
Build a modern border
The CBSA’s Border Modernization mandate is changing how the Agency conducts its business.
This year, as health restrictions eased and travel volumes rose closer to pre-pandemic levels, the CBSA used new tools to make the traveller experience better and faster without compromising public health priorities or the country’s economic recovery.
New touchless border processes were introduced at select ports of entry to reduce possible disease transmission points while shortening border wait times. By streamlining the process for low-risk travellers CBSA can focus on higher-risk activities, such as conducting secondary examinations and enforcement activities.
As of October 31, the CBSA:
- Launched Advance CBSA Declaration. This optional feature, in ArriveCAN, allows travellers to make their customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of arriving in Canada and save time at the airports. It is currently available at six international airports and will be expanded to other airports in the coming months.
- Rolled out eGates at Toronto Pearson International Airport for those travelling alone or in small groups to verify their identity and submit their customs and immigration declaration faster. Combined with the use of Primary Inspection Kiosks, eGates are improving the flow of traffic at the arrivals hall.
- Launched the Land Border Crossing Project, the largest infrastructure project in the history of the CBSA. This project will see 24 ports of entry upgraded or replaced over seven years. The sustainable, energy efficient, and accessible infrastructure will improve service to travellers and commercial importers, and working conditions for officers. Cultural representation displays of local Indigenous communities will be incorporated into each port of entry.
- Advanced the Postal Modernization Initiative, which will improve the CBSA’s ability to interdict high-risk goods by using advance data in the three international mail centres in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.
Welcome travellers into Canada
The CBSA welcomed nearly 50 million travellers into Canada this year, approximately four times the 2021 volume.
As travel volumes rose, the CBSA continued to deliver on its mandate to support national security and public safety priorities while treating the people coming through its ports of entry with compassion and professionalism.
As of October 31, the CBSA facilitated the arrival of :
- 50 million travellers
- 20,339,623 by air mode
- 27,172,695 by land mode
- 2,360,640 by marine mode
- 32,292 by rail mode
- 24,072 Afghans
- 112,027 Ukrainians
Support the economy
This year the CBSA’s continued to work on multiple fronts to ensure the free flow of legitimate trade and the protection of Canada’s economy. As of October 31, the CBSA:
- Processed 4,457,754 commercial trucks into Canada.
- Collected approximately $33 billion in duties and taxes.
- Intercepted over 298,051 kilograms of tobacco preventing revenue evasion.
- Supported the negotiation of Free Trade Agreements with the United Kingdom and the European Union.
- Established mutual recognition with Peru and the European Union to recognize each others’ Trusted Trader program members as low risk and honour similar program benefits.
- Continued to protect Canadian industry from unfair trade practices by administering the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), with over $177 million in SIMA duties assessed and approximately 30,000 Canadian jobs protected.
- Transitioned 23,044 importers and 262 customs brokers to the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) Client Portal as part of a multi-year initiative to simplify overall importing processes through a modern self-service online interface. Building on the initial launch of CARM in May 2021, aims to have all clients on the portal before CARM Release 2 functionality goes live in October 2023.
Protect Canadian Communities
The CBSA has an important and complex mandate as Canada’s first line of defence at 1,200 ports of entry.
As of October 31, the CBSA:
- Made 39,833 seizures totaling 24,078 seized goods.
- Kept over 24,053 prohibited firearms and weapons off our streets.
- Worked with Public Safety to keep Canadians safe from gun violence by enforcing firearms laws, namely the temporary import control measures related to restricted handguns.
- Seized 37,749 kg of drugs including 2,662 kg of Cocaine, 339 kg of Heroin, and 4 kg Fentanyl.
- Worked with Health Canada to address the overdose crisis by seizing illegally-produced synthetic drugs and precursor chemicals that can be used in their production. With the extreme potency of synthetic drugs, like fentanyl, an amount measured even in milligrams can cause a fatal overdose.
- Made 25 child pornography seizures.
- Issued 952 penalties totalling $784,800, for food, plant and animal import violations.
- Worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to protect human and animal health in Canada by screening for highly-pathogenic avian influenza, otherwise known as “bird flu” and for the African Swine Fever.
- Reunited 18 missing children with their loved ones in partnership with the Our Missing Children Program. The CBSA has reunited 2,012 missing or abducted children with their parents or legal guardians since becoming a partner of the program in 1986.
Collaborate with Indigenous communities
The CBSA is committed to Reconciliation and collaborating with Indigenous communities. The Agency continues to build and support cultural awareness opportunities for all employees to learn more about the histories and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.
- In April, months of collaborative work between Indigenous communities, CBSA international liaison officers and the Indigenous Affairs Secretariat, culminated when an Indigenous delegation visited Rome to meet with Pope Francis. In July, the CBSA facilitated the Pope’s entry to Canada while also ensuring that officers were prepared to facilitate the arrival of Indigenous visitors to Canada for the event.
- On September 1, the Indigenous interpretive signage at the Fraser port of entry was revealed and celebrated with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. The CBSA engaged with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation on the upgrades being made to the Fraser port of entry as part of the Land Border Crossing Project. Over the course of the Fraser upgrades, a written collaborative arrangement was signed between the First Nation and the CBSA. The Land Border Crossing Project is ongoing and provides the Agency with an opportunity to reaffirm or establish effective engagement with Indigenous communities that are based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
- The inaugural meeting of the Jay Treaty Border Alliance – Collaboration Initiative (JTBA-CI) was held in October. The JTBA-CI was created to address unique Indigenous border crossing issues related to the mobility of Indigenous Peoples and their goods by bringing together the JTBA and the Government of Canada.
The past year has seen the Canada Border Services Agency make great progress in protecting our borders while keeping trade and travel moving. I want to thank CBSA employees for all they do to keep our communities safe while ensuring that Canada remains open to the world.
– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
For more information or to schedule an interview with a CBSA representative, please contact:
Canada Border Services Agency
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