Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) The Taiwan government will officially apply soon to join the United States border preclearance system, in a bid to expedite entry by its citizens into the U.S., Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said Sunday.
In a keynote speech at a Taipei seminar on U.S.-Taiwan relations, Lin said the two countries have already exchanged letters of intent on a One-Stop Security arrangement, which allows recognition of security screening at Taoyuan International Airport so that checked luggage originating there can be transferred to connecting flights in the U.S. without having to be screened again.
Taiwan is hoping to expand the One-Stop Security arrangement to hand luggage before 2022 and is preparing to apply soon for inclusion in the preclearance program, Lin said.
"In principle," the U.S. has given approval for Taiwan to join the preclearance system, and as soon as it provides the details of how to proceed, the Taiwan government will officially make the application, Lin said.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), preclearance is the "strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights.
The operation is meant to streamline border procedures, reduce congestion at U.S. ports of entry, and facilitate travel between the preclearance locations and U.S. ports unequipped to handle international travelers, according to CBP.
Currently, CBP has more than 600 law enforcement officers and agriculture specialists stationed at 15 preclearance airports in six countries, namely Ireland, the Bahamas, Bermuda, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Aruba, a Caribbean constituent of the Netherlands.
Taiwan is part of the U.S. Visa Waiver and Global Entry program, which allows for expedited and more convenient entry into the U.S.