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Aviation securityMilestone: Trusted Traveler reaches million members

Published 6 May 2011

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said the agency’s Trusted Traveler Programs have reached one million members; Trusted Traveler Programs include Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST

A trusted traveler biometric kiosk // Source: freedomsphoenix.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced yesterday that the agency’s Trusted Traveler Programs have reached one million members. Trusted Traveler Programs include Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST.

CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs support one of our core missions, to facilitate trade and travel by expediting low-risk, frequent travelers’ entry process into the U.S. when arriving at our ports of entry,” said CBP commissioner Alan D. Bersin. “We encourage frequent travelers to join the one million members and apply to the Trusted Traveler Program that will best match their travel needs.”

Global Entry is a voluntary pilot program that streamlines the international arrival process for pre-approved travelers through use of self-service kiosks located at 20 major U.S. airports. The pilot program is an alternative to regular passport processing lines and currently reduces average wait times by 70 percent.

Applications to Global Entry must be submitted online at www.globalentry.gov. A fee of $100 is collected via the website for a five-year membership. Applicants must then complete an interview and fingerprint data collection in person at any of the twenty airport sites.

Once enrolled in the pilot program, Global Entry members may proceed directly to the kiosks in the international arrivals area upon arrival in the United States. At the kiosk, members insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a document reader, provide digital fingerprints for comparison with fingerprints on file, answer customs declaration questions on the kiosk’s touch-screen, and then present a transaction receipt to CBP officers before leaving the inspection area (more information on Global Entry can be found in the most recent issue of Frontline magazine).

NEXUS is a joint CBP-Canada Border Services Agency program that both implemented to enhance border security while simplifying the entry process for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. NEXUS was established in 2002 and currently has more than half-million members.

NEXUS applicants must go through background checks in both Canada and the United States.

The application fee for NEXUS is $50 and enrollment is for five years.
Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection or SENTRI provides expedited CBP processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers entering the United States at land ports of entry from Mexico.

 

The SENTRI program was first implemented at Otay Mesa, California, in 1995, and has grown to include sixteen lanes at the nine largest ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border including San Ysidro, California, Calexico, California, Nogales, Arizona, two crossings in El Paso, Texas, and the Texas ports of Laredo, Hidalgo and Brownsville.

The FAST (Free and Secure Trade) program offers dedicated lanes and expedited border clearance for importers, carriers and drivers who have passed rigorous risk assessments that include fingerprinting.

The program is available on both the northern and southern borders. There are about 80,000 members enrolled. FAST members report saving an average 27 minutes when transporting goods into the U.S., and an average of eighteen minutes when entering Canada.

All Trusted Traveler Program applicants must voluntarily undergo a background check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, and terrorist indices; a 10-fingerprint law enforcement check and a personal interview with a CBP officer.

In December 2010, CBP added Global Entry benefits to NEXUS and SENTRI members.

A NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST card also fulfills the travel document requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative which requires a passport or other secure travel document by all U.S. and Canadian citizens when entering the United States by air, land, or sea. Each approved NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST member receives a WHTI-compliant, radio frequency identification card.