US and UK border agencies agree to expedite travel


WASHINGTON, DC – US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a joint agreement today with the government of the United Kingdom to develop a bilateral pilot program to facilitate travel between the two nations. The International Expedited Traveler Initiative will integrate CBP’s Global Entry program with the British registered traveler program.

The signing between CBP and representatives of the United Kingdom Border Agency occurred at CBP’s headquarters in Washington, DC this afternoon.
“This agreement is an important step in fortifying our international cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom,” said CBP commissioner W. Ralph Basham. “We look forward to building the pilot that will extend the benefits of expedited and automated CBP processing to low-risk British travelers, while at the same time providing reciprocal benefits for US citizens traveling to the United Kingdom.”

CBP announced the Global Entry pilot program on April 11 to build upon other CBP trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS and SENTRI, designed to facilitate and expedite the entry process for pre-registered low-risk international travelers into the US. NEXUS is a joint program with the Canada Border Services Agency that allows expedited processing into the US and Canada at the land border and at Canadian pre-clearance airports. SENTRI provides for dedicated processing at the US-Mexico land border.

“The United States and the United Kingdom share the mutual interest of facilitating travel between our countries while we extend the zone of security beyond our physical borders,” Basham added.

The Global Entry pilot kicked off for US citizens and U.S. permanent residents on June 6 at three initial airports – John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and Washington Dulles International Airport. CBP started accepting online applications on May 12. It is expected that citizens of the United Kingdom will be invited to apply as soon as late this year.

CBP signed a similar agreement with the government of the Netherlands on May 19.