Preclearance Act (S.C. 1999, c. 20)

Act current to 2016-05-12

Preclearance Act

S.C. 1999, c. 20

Assented to 1999-06-17

An Act authorizing the United States to preclear travellers and goods in Canada for entry into the United States for the purposes of customs, immigration, public health, food inspection and plant and animal health

Preamble

WHEREAS the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Air Transport Preclearance was entered into on May 8, 1974;

WHEREAS since that date it has become desirable to put in place statutory authority, on a reciprocal basis in both Canada and the United States, to facilitate the movement of travellers and goods across the border between the two countries by all means of transportation;

WHEREAS it would facilitate cross-border travel and movement of goods if those provisions of American law directly related to the admission of travellers and the importation of goods into the United States, but excluding criminal law, were allowed to be administered in Canada;

AND WHEREAS the administration of any provision of American law in Canada is subject to Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Canadian Human Rights Act;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Preclearance Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The definitions in this section apply in this Act.

Canadian officer

agent canadien

Canadian officer means a peace officer or a person who is authorized to enforce an Act of Parliament. (agent canadien)

goods

marchandises

goods includes means of transport, animals and plants and their products, and any document in any form, but does not include anything prescribed by a regulation made under paragraph 38(1)(a). (marchandises)

Minister

ministre

Minister, in respect of any provision of this Act, means the member or members of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada designated under section 3 as the Minister or Ministers for the purpose of that provision. (ministre)

preclearance area

zone de précontrôle

preclearance area means an area designated by the Minister under section 7. (zone de précontrôle)

preclearance laws

droit de précontrôle

preclearance laws means the law of the United States with respect to customs, immigration, public health, food inspection and plant and animal health that is applicable to the admission of travellers or the importation of goods to the United States, including the laws listed in the schedule. It includes monetary penalty provisions in such law but does not include anything that would be considered criminal under Canadian law. (droit de précontrôle)

preclearance officer

contrôleur

preclearance officer means a person authorized by the United States to perform preclearance duties in Canada for the purposes of customs, immigration, public health, food inspection and plant and animal health. (contrôleur)

Designation of Minister

Marginal note:Order designating Minister

 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate any member or members of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as the Minister or Ministers for the purpose of any provision of this Act.

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to permit the administration of preclearance laws in Canada, subject to Canadian constitutional safeguards, in order to facilitate the movement of travellers and goods between Canada and the United States, based on the principle of reciprocity.

Marginal note:Reciprocity

 The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, by order, restrict any immunity or privileges under this Act if, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, the immunity or privileges exceed those accorded to Canada by the United States.

Administration of Preclearance Laws

Marginal note:Preclearance laws
  •  (1) Preclearance laws may be administered in Canada in a preclearance area with respect to travellers who seek admission to, and with respect to goods to be imported into, the United States, subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • Marginal note:Preclearance laws not to be administered

    (2) When proceedings are instituted in Canada with respect to an act or omission that occurs in a preclearance area and that is an offence under Canadian law punishable by indictment or on summary conviction, monetary penalties that could otherwise be imposed under preclearance laws may not be imposed in Canada with respect to that act or omission.

  • Marginal note:Canadian officer

    (3) Nothing in this Act precludes a Canadian officer from enforcing Canadian law in a preclearance area.

Preclearance and Intransit Areas

Marginal note:Preclearance areas
  •  (1) The Minister may designate preclearance areas where preclearance officers may preclear travellers and goods for entry into the United States.

  • Marginal note:Air travel

    (2) The Minister may designate all or part of a preclearance area as an intransit area that is to be used for the preclearance of travellers and goods that are in transit through Canada by air to the United States.

  • Marginal note:Amendment, cancellation or reinstatement of designation

    (3) The Minister may amend, cancel or reinstate at any time a designation made under this section.

Marginal note:Access to a preclearance area
  •  (1) Only persons who are travellers destined for the United States or any person or category of persons designated by regulation may enter a preclearance area.

  • Marginal note:Reporting to a preclearance officer

    (2) Every traveller who enters a preclearance area must report to a preclearance officer without delay.

Marginal note:Arrival in an intransit area

 In order to travel through Canada to the United States through an intransit area, a traveller must report without delay on arrival in Canada to a preclearance officer at the intransit area.

Marginal note:Right of traveller to leave preclearance area
  •  (1) Every traveller has the right, at any stage of the preclearance process, to leave a preclearance area without departing for the United States, unless a preclearance officer informs the traveller that the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the traveller has committed an offence under section 33 or 34.

  • Marginal note:Departure from an intransit area

    (2) Every traveller, whether travelling from Canada or in transit through Canada, who leaves an intransit area without departing immediately for the United States must report without delay to a customs officer and an immigration officer for examination.

Powers of Preclearance Officers

Marginal note:Powers and duties — preclearance area
  •  (1) A preclearance officer may exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed on the officer under this Act and the regulations only in a preclearance area.

  • Marginal note:Outside a preclearance area

    (2) Outside a preclearance area, a preclearance officer may examine a means of transport that is subject to preclearance, including goods, currency and monetary instruments that are in, or that are to be loaded onto, that means of transport.

  • Marginal note:Reporting after examination

    (3) After the examination described in subsection (2), the preclearance officer may request that a traveller, or anything that is in or that is to be loaded onto the means of transport, be sent to a preclearance area to be dealt with in accordance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Assistance of a Canadian officer

    (4) If a traveller refuses to go to a preclearance area, the preclearance officer may request a Canadian officer to take the traveller to the preclearance area, and the Canadian officer is authorized to do so.

Marginal note:Protection of persons acting under authority
  •  (1) A preclearance officer is, if the officer acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what the officer is required or authorized to do under this Act or the regulations, and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:When not protected

    (2) A preclearance officer must not use force that is intended or is likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm unless the officer believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary for self-preservation or the preservation of anyone under the officer’s protection from death or grievous bodily harm.

Marginal note:Assistance of a Canadian officer

 A preclearance officer may request a Canadian officer to assist in exercising the powers of search, examination, seizure and detention conferred on the preclearance officer by this Act, and the Canadian officer is authorized to exercise those powers.

Marginal note:Orders of a preclearance officer

 A preclearance officer may order anyone found in a preclearance area to report to the officer or to leave the area.

Marginal note:Reporting goods
  •  (1) Every traveller reporting to a preclearance officer must report all goods in their possession or that form part of their baggage or that are on board a means of transport under their charge.

  • Marginal note:Examination of goods

    (2) If requested to do so by a preclearance officer, a traveller must present to the officer any of their goods, remove any covering from the goods, unload any means of transport or open any part of it, or open or unpack any package or container that the officer wishes to examine.

 
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