Canada and the Netherlands Negotiate Bilateral Travelling Agreement


According to Maja Graham, a border services agency spokesperson, “Canada has had discussions with the Netherlands since 2010” for creating a Canada-Netherlands trusted travel agreement. This agreement could be the first step in a plan to develop a network of traveler programs between like-minded countries.

Modeled after the already existing Nexus program, which allows US and Canadian citizens to access express lines and decrease wait times when traveling between the two countries, the Canada-Netherlands agreement would also implement a similar trusted travel platform.

The anticipated agreement between Canada and the Netherlands was expected to be implemented last year but is experiencing delays. The first phase of the program would allow Canadian members to join the Dutch program. In the second phase, Dutch citizens would be able to apply for the Canpass Air program; the same program currently allows US citizens to enter Canada through nine major airports. At these nine locations, a camera is used to recognize the irises of the traveler as proof of identity. Eventually, Dutch program members would also be allowed to join the Nexus program currently used for speedier travel between Canada and the US.

In addition, Canada is also exploring a “multilateral trusted traveler framework” with the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

It is argued by the Canadian government that allowing low risk travelers to move more freely for tourism and business may help economic growth. Foreign direct investment may increase in the Netherland and Canada if US citizens and companies can enter the markets easier. The tourism industry may also experience a boost if Canada continues to be a more welcoming and open country to low-risk travelers.

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