Customs Brokerage News – The CBSA is Adding RFID Technology to Entry Points Across Canada

Customs Brokerage News – The CBSA is Adding RFID Technology to Entry Points Across Canada The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is adding radio-frequency identification technology (RFID) to certain points of entry across Canada. RFID enables CBSA border agents to more quickly scan goods and people as they seek entry into Canada. RFID technology is faster, more accurate, and promises to improve wait times at all POEs in which it is installed.

What is RFID?

RFID is a non-contact, wireless use of radio that transfers information through electromagnetic fields. RFID is used to automatically identify information, such as objects or people. RFID is like a secure barcode. Barcodes encode information which is decrypted by the bar code reader. However, RFID is more secure because it must be read by specific scanners and it does not store information; it stores the ability to access information from secure databases.

How does it work?

RFID technology consists of two components: the tag and the reader. The tag emits a unique identifier. The scanner picks up the identifier and displays it for the CBSA officer to review. The tagged information is encrypted and retrieved from a secure database.
If you want to use the RFID lane, it is the same as any other lane. Anyone can use the lanes; the RFID lanes simply allow people with the option to proceed through faster. RFID technology allows officers to identify travelers and wave them through quickly.

Which Documents Can Be Used?

The following documents are RFID-enabled:
• The NEXUS card;
• Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card;
• Electronic Canadian Permanent Resident card;
• Enhanced Identification Card from Manitoba and British Columbia; and Canadian Enhanced Driver’s License from Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
If you have one of these documents, you can take advantage of one of the RFID entry points at no additional cost.

Where is it available?

The CBSA has deployed RFID readers at the following POEs: Manitoba:
• Emerson


• Lansdown
• Ambassador Bridge (Windsor-Detroit connection)
• Peace Bridge (Erie)
• Rainbow Bridge (Niagara)
• Queenston Bridge (Niagara)

British Columbia:

• Aldergrove (Langley)
• Douglas (Surrey)
• Pacific Highway (Surrey)

Quick FAQs

The RFID tag (or chip) does not store any personal data. The information is encrypted and allows the agent to retrieve it from a secure database quickly. So, even if someone uses a skimmer, the information would be worthless because it merely identifies where to find information. Think of the information on the RFID as a map that can only be read by a handful of people and the information is stored somewhere else.

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