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U.S. and UK Agencies Will Expedite Travel

June 27, 2008 By: George Dooley

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of United States borders, signed a joint agreement with the United Kingdom. The agreement will allow development of a bilateral pilot program to facilitate travel between the two nations. The International Expedited Traveler Initiative will integrate CBP’s Global Entry program with the British registered traveler program.

“This agreement is an important step in fortifying our international cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom,” said CBP Commissioner W. Ralph Basham. “We look forward to building the pilot that will extend the benefits of expedited and automated CBP processing to low-risk British travelers, while at the same time providing reciprocal benefits for U.S. citizens traveling to the United Kingdom.”

CBP announced the Global Entry pilot program in April to build upon other CBP trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS and SENTRI. The programs are designed to facilitate and expedite the entry process for pre-registered, low-risk international travelers into the U.S. NEXUS is a joint program with the Canada Border Services Agency that allows expedited processing into the U.S. and Canada at the land border and at Canadian pre-clearance airports.  SENTRI provides for dedicated processing at the U.S.-Mexico land border.

The Global Entry pilot kicked off for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents in June at three initial airports: JFK International Airport in New York, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and Washington Dulles International Airport. CBP started accepting online applications in May.  It is expected that citizens of the United Kingdom will be invited to apply as soon as late this year. CBP signed a similar agreement with the government of the Netherlands May 19.


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