To participate in the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, importers must be participants in the Partners in Protection (PIP) program.

For the Partners in Protection program, importers must complete a security questionnaire and sign a memorandum of understanding with the CBSA. Features of PIP include:

  • Establishing a partnership between the importer and the CBSA to enhance border security, combat organized crime and terrorism, and increase awareness of customs compliance issues;
  • Agreeing to make efforts to ensure that security programs meet the suggested guidelines in the MOU (memorandum of understanding);
  • Encouraging and promoting open and ongoing dialogue to better understand the roles and responsibilities of the parties; and
  • Committing to and conducting seminars to raise awareness of security internally and in the trade chain as it relates to the international movement of people and goods.

This program is similar to the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism in that once companies are approved under PIP, they are eligible for “FAST” clearances.

FAST is a joint Canada-U.S. program similar to Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) from which approved importers can benefit from:

  • Streamlined accounting and payment of duties and taxes for all imported goods; and
  • Streamlined clearance of eligible goods when shipped via an approved carrier and registered driver.