FAST border program takes applications online, but not in paper

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | Monday, May 05, 2008

Truck drivers seeking quick border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico through the Free and Secure Trade program can put away pens and fire up the Internet. FAST applications are exclusively online.

FAST aims to speed efficiency of goods movement at the U.S.-Mexico and Canadian border. Beginning April 15, FAST applications were accepted at CBP.gov.

The agency removed paper applications for the FAST program in April, a practice already in place for other global enrollment systems.

“It’s a way to do things faster; it facilitates the process,” said Joanne Ferreria, a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman.

Customs and Border Protection plans to launch online enrollment for drivers needing access at the U.S.-Canada border in August. That program, however, will continue to accept paper applications.

The U.S.-Mexico FAST program is administered by U.S. officials, Ferreria said. U.S.-Canada FAST is run jointly between the United States and Canada.

“It’s a different kind of program than the U.S.-Mexico program,” she said.

FAST applications in 2008 for U.S.-Canada tallied 6,835 as of May 1, Ferreria said, while U.S.-Mexico applications stood at 874.

For more information, visit www.cbp.gov.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
charlie_morasch@landlinemag.com

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