OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan 25, 2013) - Every January 26th, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) celebrates International Customs Day. This day, marked by customs and border management organizations around the world, recognizes the efforts of the men and women working in customs organizations and their role in ensuring that communities remain safe, secure and prosperous.
The World Customs Organization (WCO), of which the CBSA has been a member since 1971, has devoted the 2013 International Customs Day to "Innovation for Customs Progress," offering WCO members the opportunity to promote innovative new programs, ideas, policies and solutions that have been implemented in the past year.
"The CBSA continues to improve the services it provides to the trade community and the travelling public on a daily basis," said Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. "I am proud of the critical work done under the Beyond the Border Action Plan and programs such as Automated Border Clearance."
The Agency''s ongoing work on innovative projects includes the upcoming full implementation of eManifest, designed to streamline commercial shipments into Canada, new avenues of communication with its clients through the use of social media and the development of the new Border Alert system, designed to quickly inform travellers of port closures and delays.
In addition to the many innovative projects undertaken by the CBSA last year, the Agency has continued to ensure the free flow of legitimate goods and trade while maintaining the safety and security of Canadians. Throughout 2012, the CBSA processed over 92 million travellers across its borders and cleared 14 million commercial shipments, playing a key role in keeping Canada''s economy on track.
"Of equal importance to the CBSA are its efforts to keep Canadian communities safe," said CBSA President Luc Portelance. "The enforcement activities undertaken by our officers to prevent drugs and weapons from entering Canada are reasons to be proud."
The CBSA''s enforcement activities in 2012 include the seizure of over $305 million worth of narcotics, including over $126 million in cocaine alone, keeping significant quantities of this dangerous drug off our streets. Border services officers also made more than 2,300 tobacco seizures worth over $3 million. Furthermore, CBSA officers seized 547 firearms and over 24,000 weapons.
CBSA officers continued their efforts to prevent the exploitation of children by making 93 child pornography seizures from those who attempted to import it into Canada.
International Customs Day may be marked differently in our various offices and ports throughout the country, but the overall message remains the same: CBSA employees do invaluable work keeping Canada''s borders open and secure. The dedication of CBSA officers is unparalleled, and serves as an example of a professional customs organization.