The Free and Secure Trade initiative begun by U.S. and Canadian immigration services and U.S. Customs Service promises a fast track approach to truck border crossings by vetting trucks and drivers before they reach checkpoints. So far, three FAST program crossings have been established: Port Huron, MI - Sarnia, ONT; Detroit-Windsor; and Buffalo-Fort Erie.
The voluntary program requires shippers and drivers to fill out customs application forms, which are run through criminal background checks for a $50 fee. Once approved, shippers and drivers receive a security card that transmits information to customs agents at inspection stations on both sides of the border.
To be eligible for the program, importers and their carriers must be enrolled in the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
Carriers are not required to join the program, but their shipments and drivers will be pass through more quickly if they are enrolled, customs officials say.