Ports association cosponsors CBP workshop

The American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA) cosponsored a stakeholder workshop August 8 on cruise passenger clearance issues. The workshop was a partnership between AGLPA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) and the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers.

For more than a decade, a handful of small cruise ship operators have struggled to launch a niche market in the Great Lakes. Because most cruise itineraries are binational, CBP plays an important role in clearing passengers as they transition between Canada and the United States. However, most Great Lakes ports don’t have proper passenger terminal facilities. To compensate, CBP had implemented an onboard clearance program utilizing mobile technology. In April, CBP notified Great Lakes ports and cruise operators the program is being terminated and compliant cruise terminal facilities will have to be constructed.

CBP headquarters in Washington has made clear their support for Great Lakes cruising and has dedicated a staff person to work with ports to implement improved facilities that meet CBP requirements. Additional meetings will be planned as ports work to meet the new requirements.

Maritime Editorial