Canada, United States Look To Put Customs Facilities In Auto Plants

The Canadian and US governments are discussing a plan that could see customs facilities placed inside auto plants in both countries, with the aim of easing the movement of auto parts across the border between the two countries.

According to Automotive News Canada, Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is in talks with US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to make that happen.

Auto industry officials say it's about time.

“We’ve always said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great, through our security programs, to move parts across the border in a seamless manner?’” said Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association. “We’ve made a lot of progress in this area already. We’re pursuing greater efficiencies.”

Flavio Volpe, head of the Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, told the publication that while "it's a complicated issue from a public safety point of view ... this is part of an ongoing dialogue the industry has had with officials in both countries for years. Technology has caught up to intent now and we view this concept very favourably.”

Some automakers already take part in what's known as a Trusted Trader program that speeds the movement of car part shipments across the border, but Nantais said the plan being discussed now would be even better for manufacturers, whose plants operate on a "just in time" basis and rely on shipments arriving in a timely fashion.

These talks are taking place as Canada and Mexico hold talks with the United States, whose government wants to significantly modify the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Canada also recently signed on to a new version of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

Customizing cross-border trade 2/12/2018 3:38:57 PM