Time to Renew Frequent Border-Crossing Memberships

The FAST (Free and Secure Trade) program facilitates border crossing for pre-approved, low-risk commercial shippers. It provides expedited processing for those who have completed background checks and a variety of other requirements for eligibility.

The Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are now accepting renewal applications from those participating in the Northern Border FAST Commercial Driver Program. For Canadians it’s called the Frequent-Crosser Program. Renewals for the Southern Border FAST program aren’t scheduled to begin until 2009. CBP says there are more than 87,000 North American truck drivers enrolled in the program.

There are several factors, among others, CBP suggests those renewing should bear in mind: No five-year renewal application will be accepted if received more than 90-days before the date of expiration printed on the member’s existing credential. Applicants are subject to re-vetting as part of the re-application process and must wait for a conditional approval letter before scheduling an appointment for interview, biometric collection and re-credentialing. Old credentials must be surrendered at time of re-credentialing.

It’s suggested by CBP that the FAST identification card may become an alternative document for acceptance under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that requires travelers to show proof of identity and citizenship when entering or re-entering the US by land or sea.

“By demonstrating that they are low-risk, FAST drivers help CBP immensely to temper facilitation with security and thus focus greater scrutiny on high-risk cargo,” says W. Ralph Basham CBP Commissioner. ”We encourage FAST drivers to renew their memberships in this important program."

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