Speaking on Brussel’s VRT radio, Belgian finance minister Alexander De Croo announced that an agreement to carry out immigration and customs checks on passengers heading for U.S.-bound flights out of Brussels Airport was recently signed. According to the report, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will install a ‘preclearance’ operation at the airport to perform checks on passengers travelling to the US with an overall goal to lighten the load on their colleagues working at the corresponding U.S. destinations.
The agreement simplifies travelling from Brussels Airport as passengers that received clearance / inspection there would not have to go through the security procedures upon arrival to the US. Another positive effect of the new arrangement is that it would allow travelers to New York City to fly into La Guardia airport, where there are currently no customs facilities, avoiding overly crowded airports like JFK and Newark.
The commencement date for the new customs system has not been announced yet. CBP Preclearance currently exists at airports located in
· Dublin and Shannon (Ireland);
· Freeport and Nassau (The Bahamas);
· Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates); and
· Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, and Winnipeg (Canada).
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