Canada could soon have its first customs facilities located inside the United States. Florida and Arizona are potential sites for pilot projects in ongoing experiments to modernize the border.

It would be the next phase in preclearance efforts that have been going on for decades. The U.S. has had customs sites for years in Canadian airports, where travellers clear customs before boarding in order to reduce wait times later.

Canada has not yet deployed inspection personnel to the United States to facilitate pre-clearance movement into Canada, but possible pilot projects would begin in Scottsdale, Arizona or Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Pre-clearance facilities will make cross-border commerce, travel and trade more efficient. Border wait times cost the Canadian economy somewhere between one per cent and 1.8 per cent of GDP in 2010.