On 12 March 2019, US Customs and Border Protection and the Government of Ireland signed an amended agreement allowing for preclearance expansion in Ireland. The amended agreement allows for continued expansion of preclearance services in Dublin and Shannon, including extended service hours and increased staffing, cost recovery, and improved officer safety measures.
Todd Owen, CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner, and Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the USA, signed the agreement at a ceremony in Washington DC attended by officials from both countries. “We see the agreement as an excellent vehicle to help our two countries meet the demands of increased travel across the Atlantic,” said Reece Smyth, Charge d’Affaires, US Embassy in Ireland.
Pre-inspection, a forerunner to preclearance, in Ireland commenced in 1986 and updated in 2008 to a Preclearance Agreement. In early 2017 negotiations to modify the 2008 agreement commenced and the signing of this amended agreement culminates two years of co-ordinated effort between the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, the US State Department, Ireland’s Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and other agencies.
Expansion of preclearance operations in Ireland directly enhances CBP’s strategic plan addressing continually evolving security threats by allowing CBP to work with foreign law enforcement and commercial carriers to prevent the boarding of potentially high-risk travellers while providing unique facilitation benefits.