04 Sep

NEXUS: Being smart about border crossing

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The United States and Canada had a relatively easy system for border crossing until a couple decades ago. With the threat of terrorism looming large on almost all parts of the globe, security has been tightened and checks are more stringent.

NEXUS is the initiative by both governments to ease border crossing troubles. So what is Nexus? It is a cooperative customs and immigration program implemented by the USA and Canada to speed up border crossings by low risk frequent travelers.

The two governments now have a system that uses Intermec intelligent tag radio frequency identification or RFID technology. If you have used the Fastpass and similar cards to get through a toll booth quickly, this card works on the same lines. Except, the applicants are fingerprinted, photographed,and go through a background check and personal interview. Upon clearing, they are given a Nexus ID Card. A tiny computer chip containing a reference number to a data base, is embedded into the card, along with a tiny RFID antenna. When the RFID reader of the customs booth identifies and matches the information on the card with the database, you are instantly given clearance to pass.

Although the system is greatly successful in reducing border crossing time, one does get nervous thinking about absolutely no screening by a human eye that can spot subtle signs of misbehavior and potential threat.

So far, the agents have caught quite a few cars trying to smuggle goods into Canada like cigarettes and tires.

But considering the huge savings of both customers’ and governments’ time, could we risk a few goods being smuggled?

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Read 2541 times Last modified on Friday, 23 November 2012 18:23
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