CBSA Pacific Region: Operational and enforcement highlights from 2023

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Pacific Region has released operational and enforcement highlights covering the period from January 1 to October 31, 2023.

The Pacific Region covers British Columbia and the Yukon and is home to 43 service locations, including an international mail centre, Canada’s second busiest airport and the country’s largest marine port, container examination facility and cruise ship terminal.

Welcoming travellers into Canada

Between January 1 and October 31, 2023, the Pacific Region facilitated the arrival of more than 17.6 million travellers at our ports of entry, up 6 million from last year. This includes returning Canadians and international visitors, as well as over 1,545 refugees.

During a year of unprecedented wildfires across the country, the CBSA was responsible for facilitating the arrival of international firefighters in Canada to assist provincial and federal authorities. Officers in the Pacific Region welcomed more than 2,200 firefighters to support local response efforts.

Building a modern border

Modernization initiatives use new digital tools and technologies to improve and expedite travel and trade while enabling the CBSA to better address global pressures such as rising traveller volumes, health and safety issues, economic and migratory trends, and security threats from terrorism and organized crime.

To streamline their entry into Canada, 535,520 travellers used Advance Declaration this year at Vancouver International Airport. Using Advance Declaration to make a customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours before arrival reduced the time travellers spent at the airport once they arrived.

Supporting a growing economy

Border services officers in the Pacific Region processed 553,210 commercial trucks and nearly 28 million courier shipments, an increase from the 20.5 million processed last year. The Region also released more than 2.2 million commercial shipments into the Canadian economy.

In addition, the Region collected approximately $3.6 billion in duties and taxes which help protect sectors of the Canadian economy.

Protecting Canadians

The Pacific Region protects our communities by preventing illegal weapons and illicit substances from entering Canada. This year, Pacific Region border services officers were responsible for:

  • 13,400 seized weapons, compared to 3,694 seized last year. This includes 220 firearms, 4,553 batons and 5,742 prohibited knives.
  • 6,389 illegal narcotic seizures, compared to 5,779 seizures last year. This includes approximately 7,900 kg of methamphetamine, 5,953 kg of precursor chemicals, 1,358 kg of opioids, 239 kg of cocaine, and 1,677 kg of cannabis.
  • $721,426 in currency seizures suspected to be proceeds of crime, compared to $195,858 seized last year.

In the midst of a toxic drug crisis, the CBSA is the first line of defence in keeping illicit drugs and precursors from entering the country. In recent years, the Agency has seen an increase in the importation of precursor chemicals for the production of illegal drugs, including fentanyl, MDMA and GHB. Our officers collaborate with law enforcement partners and colleagues across the country to seize these dangerous chemicals, keeping millions of doses of illegal drugs from reaching our communities.

Working closely with a number of other government departments and agencies, the CBSA administers and enforces policies on bringing food, plants, animals and related products across the border. A total of 364 Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties were issued this year, amounting to $299,500.

Collaborating with Indigenous communities

The CBSA is committed to the Government of Canada’s Reconciliation efforts and worked in collaboration with Indigenous communities throughout the Pacific Region.

Officers work closely with the Regional Indigenous Affairs Advisor to assist local First Nations in navigating border requirements, especially during the repatriation of cultural items. In addition, our employees at ports of entry are trained to better understand cross-border travel issues faced by members of Indigenous nations with the aim of improving services to support them.

This year, the region supported the return of the House of Ni’isjoohl memorial pole from the National Museum of Scotland to the Nisg̱a’a First Nation in British Columbia, and facilitated the clearance of a traditional canoe and its crew as they paddled from Haida Gwaii to Alaska as part of the annual Tribal Canoe Journey.

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