The United States plans to expand U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance operations to ten foreign airports in nine countries, Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security said Friday.

The U.S. is beginning negotiations for preclearance programs at Brussels Airport, Belgium; Punta Cana Airport, Dominican Republic; Narita International Airport, Japan; Amsterdam Airport Schipol, Netherlands; Oslo Airport, Norway; Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain; Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden; Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey; and London Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport, United Kingdom. Last year, nearly 20 million passengers traveled from these ten airports to the US.

Preclearance means travelers go through immigration, customs, and agriculture inspection by a CBP officer before boarding a direct flight to the United States. CBP officers stationed abroad do the screening, which conform to U.S. security screening standards.

The U.S. already has preclearance facilities in 15 overseas airports. These include Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Last year, CBP cleared over 16 million passengers through these preclearance locations.

“CBP’s preclearance operations are an important step in the U.S. government’s effort to prevent terrorism from coming to our borders,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.


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