The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is working to eliminate paper declaration cards for travelers arriving by air. This will be a phased in process, starting March 20, 2017 in Ottawa, with more airports to come through 2018. The Canada declaration form is simple enough, but I’m pleased this process is improving especially as a NEXUS Cardholder. Unlike Global Entry, where no paper form is required, until now all arrivals in Canada required a completed form.
NEXUS cardholders received an email from the CBSA with more information about these changes. Here are the details from the message I received:
No More Canada Customs Declaration Forms
Important Information for NEXUS Members
This year, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will be making travel even more convenient by phasing out the paper CBSA Declaration Card (Form E311) for travellers arriving in Canada by air.
What does this mean for NEXUS members?
NEXUS kiosk display screens at all designated NEXUS airport locations in Canada are being updated to simplify the declaration process. Members will be prompted to respond to questions on the NEXUS kiosk screens that mirror the questions that were previously found on the paper CBSA Declaration Card.
Why is this change being made?
This change is being made to coincide with the upcoming launch of new Primary Inspection Kiosks that will expand self-service options to all international air travellers arriving in Canada. NEXUS members should continue to use their dedicated NEXUS kiosks, which are exclusively for their use and are designed to expedite their arrival to Canada.
When and where will this change be made?
Beginning late-March 2017, all travellers flying into the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport will no longer be required to fill out a paper CBSA Declaration Card. The elimination of the paper CBSA Declaration Card will continue to be rolled out at other major Canadian airports across Canada, over the course of 2017-2018. Visit the CBSA NEXUS website for the most up-to-date information regarding where this automated service will be available for NEXUS members.
Airline staff will distribute the paper CBSA Declaration Cards to travellers only if the airport is not equipped with the Primary Inspection Kiosks. If you are given a CBSA Declaration Card en route, please continue to fill it out.
The CBSA is dedicated to modernizing and transforming the way it manages the border and is continually working to ensure that the NEXUS program remains convenient for our members.
Less Paperwork is a good thing
It appears that the Primary Inspection Kiosks are similar to Automated Passport Control in the US. There is also a mobile app, CanBorder which sounds like Mobile Passport Control app for US arrivals which can save some time before landing.
Easier Arrivals in Canada
I’m all for saving time when traveling, and have saved plenty avoiding long lines when arriving in Canada thanks to NEXUS. Hopefully this automated system will help reduce some of those lines on entry into Canada for everyone entering Canada.