The Government of Canada has determined that the trusted traveler programs are not essential and have closed NEXUS Processing Centres for an undetermined period of time. This means that if a Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) officer mistakenly confiscates a NEXUS Card from a traveler and sends it to a NEXUS Processing Centre, the traveler cannot get it back until such time as the NEXUS Processing Centres re-open. The confiscated NEXUS Card cannot be processed by the CBSA officers at the NEXUS Processing Centre and will still appear as active in the CBSA’s records and in the Trusted Traveler Program portal.
Travelers who have had their NEXUS Cards confiscated by the CBSA (or the United States Customs and Border Protection) should no longer use the NEXUS lane at land border crossings or at airports as they will not be in a position to show or use their NEXUS Cards using the electronic readers and kiosks. If a person who does not have their NEXUS Card with them uses a NEXUS lane, they would likely be considered to be breaching the rules of the NEXUS Program giving the CBSA another basis to not reinstate their NEXUS Card.
If a person would like to appeal the NEXUS Card confiscation, they may still file an appeal. However, they will receive a letter from the CBSA Recourse Directorate stating that the NEXUS Card remains active in the system and they should wait to receive a letter from the NEXUS Processing Centre when it reopens. We recommend filing the NEXUS Card appeal anyway so that the appeal can be refiled quickly when the CBSA cancellation letter arrives. Please note that if the CBSA also took an enforcement action (e.g., you received a Seizure Receipt), you must file the request for a review under the Customs Act within 90 days – this appeal is not affected by the NEXUS Processing Centres closures. If the CBSA seized your currency under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist FInancing Act, you must file the request for review and return of the funds within 90 days – this appeal is not affected by the NEXUS Processing Centres closures. Many other types of appeals for border enforcement actions are not affected by the NEXUS Processing Centres closures.
If your NEXUS Card has been taken by the CBSA, keep all paperwork provided by the CBSA Officer confiscating the NEXUS Card and keep it in an envelop in a place you will remember. If you have a bulletin/cork board in your home office, pin in to the board. Keep all receipts relating to goods at issue in that envelope. If the CBSA is alleging that an item purchased in Canada was not reported as a purchase in your trip, find that receipt or paperwork to prove the CBSA is incorrect in their assumption and put it in the envelope with the other documents to support the appeal.
The other consequence of the closure of the NEXUS Processing Centres is that any travelers renewing their NEXUS memberships will have to wait longer. There was already a 6-9 month delay in processing NEXUS application and renewals prior to COVID-19. NEXUS members and approved persons already had to wait months to get their appointment at a NEXUS Processing Centre. The delays will get worse after the NEXUS Processing Centres re-open. That being said, if your NEXUS Card must be renewed in 2020, please remember to file your renewal via the Trusted Traveler Program portal. If you do not file the renewal because you are not traveling, you will end up at the back of a very long line. A number of people who filed renewals in 2019 and Q1 2020 will be in the line ahead of you and some will have to reschedule NEXUS appointments that were cancelled.
If you require more assistance or information about filing a NEXUS appeal or what you should safe-keep for your NEXUS appeal, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a number of articles about NEXUS appeals on the LexSage website.