Canada/U.S. border capacity and customs efficiency is critically important to Canadian auto manufacturing and just-in-time delivery systems – it is the lifeline of auto companies’ highly integrated manufacturing facilities and their ability to produce vehicles seamlessly and cost effectively on both side of the border.

There remains a clear imperative between Canada and the U.S. to further strengthen our shared border infrastructure, customs clearance procedures, logistics advantage and labour mobility, in the interest of jobs and competitiveness. Simply, border policy must support the movement of both commercial goods and temporary entry company labour expertise to support innovation and productivity in Canada’s auto sector.

The CVMA recommends the following to support Canadian auto manufacturing:

  1. Enhance the benefits for those who are Trusted Traders – CVMA members have made significant investments to be recognized as Trusted Traders and appreciate the program’s commitment to help trusted companies move goods efficiently across the border while reducing administrative burden. Expanded benefits to Trusted Traders would help to support greater border efficiencies.
  2. Expand the Generic Harmonized System (GHS) system to include commercial imports – The expansion of the GHS program to apply to importation of commercial goods in addition to casual (personal) shipments would support Canadian business by reducing red tape burden. Further to this, increasing the value of goods to $2,500 to align with already established LVS threshold would also help streamline administration.
  3. Straightforward and time efficient processes for Temporary International Worker Mobility – Greater predictability in the process and time to apply and receive approval for temporary international worker cross-border mobility would reduce Canadian operation costs.
    Consider:
    – the exclusion of international company personnel required to support Canadian automotive assembly operations
    – updating the NAFTA Business Visitor list of qualifying professions and positions (It should be noted that any production line stoppage hampered by the inability to get inter-company expertise can quickly cost upwards of $1.5 million per hour in lost revenues).
  4. Increase Canada’s De Minimis current $20 level to bring it in line with Canada’s international competitors – An increase in the de minimis limit in Canada from $20 to $200 would reduce the costs and red tape associated with the administration of low value commercial imports, allowing companies and the CBSA to reallocate resources to higher value imports where the data is captured and utilized.

Canada/U.S. border safety and customs efficiency is critically important to Canadian auto manufacturing and just-in-time delivery systems – it is the lifeline of auto companies’ highly integrated manufacturing facilities and their ability to produce vehicles seamlessly and cost effectively on both side of the border.

Whether it be through the activities of the joint Canada/U.S. Beyond the Border initiative as was announced In February 2011, along with Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), or the most recent February 13, 2017 joint statement by President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau, committing to continue dialogue on regulatory issues and pursue shared regulatory outcomes, there remains a clear imperative between Canada and the U.S. to further strengthen our shared border infrastructure, customs clearance procedures, logistics advantage and temporary International worker mobility, in the interest of jobs and competitiveness.

Traditional warehousing of parts and components, has been replaced by the transportation logistics /customs system itself. Most suppliers to the auto industry are located within a two hour drive of the U.S.-Canada border. Many goods are produced less than four hours before they are destined to feed production at a manufacturing facility on either side of the border. In many instances, shipments of production components are regularly delivered as many as 6-7 times in trips across the Canada/U.S. border each day.

Border efficiency is paramount to Canadian auto manufacturing and the CVMA is a strong supporter of the joint Canada/U.S. Beyond the Border initiative. The initiative acknowledges the highly integrated nature of Canada’s automotive industry within North America and the imperative to find ways to implement greater border and customs efficiencies in the interest of jobs and competitiveness.

This Canada/U.S. commitment to investment to improve shared border infrastructure and technology is a critical part of ensuring modern and efficient cross border trade and travel. Since 2011, both countries have made progress in upgrading border infrastructure. In 2013, Canada announced funding of up to C$127 million for major upgrades at four priority border crossings including the Windsor – Detroit crossing (Gordie Howe International Bridge) and, in the United States, border infrastructure investments of roughly US $151 million have been made or announced. The Windsor-Detroit gateway handles approximately 30% of road trade between Canada and the U.S. with over 1.5 million trucks crossing annually1 and $250 in commodities crossing every day2.

Now in Phase 2 of the action plan, the CVMA encourages both the Canadian and U.S. governments to continue to move forward on results that will support secure, streamlined and efficient auto manufacturing.

CVMA members have also been strong supporters and active participants of Partners in Protection (PIP) and Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) under the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Trusted Trader program. These programs provide assurances for the government that imports will be properly reported and that shipments are secure so that less processing occurs at the international crossing.

1. U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics
2. Ontario Ministry of Transportation