U.S., U.K Sign International Expedited Traveler Initiative

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently signed a joint agreement with the government of the United Kingdom to develop 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. The signing between CBP and representatives of the United Kingdom Border Agency occurred at CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"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 April 11, 2008, to build upon other CBP trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS and SENTRI, designed to facilitate and expedite the entry process for pre-registered low-risk international travelers into the United States. NEXUS is a joint program with the Canada Border Services Agency that allows expedited processing into the United States 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 United States and the United Kingdom share the mutual interest of facilitating travel between our countries while we extend the zone of security beyond our physical borders," Basham said.

The Global Entry pilot kicked off for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents in early June at three initial airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and Washington Dulles International Airport. CBP started accepting online applications on May 12, 2008. It is expected that citizens of the United Kingdom will be invited to apply later this year. CBP signed a similar agreement with the government of the Netherlands on May 19, 2008.

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