Internal Audit and Program Evaluation Directorate
Evaluation Summary of Traveller Processing (Marine)

Program description

Within the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) new Departmental Results Framework, Traveller Processing (Marine) (TPM) is an activity under the Traveller Facilitation and Compliance program. TPM’s expected outcomes are to:

  1. facilitate the movement of legitimate people and their goods arriving in Canada via the marine mode; and
  2. intercept inadmissible marine travellers and their goods.

About this evaluation

The purpose of this evaluation was to examine the relevance and performance (effectiveness and efficiency/economy) of the Traveller Processing (Marine) by conveyance type: private vessel, cruise ship, and ferry.

The evaluation covered approximately $15 million in annual direct program spending and focused on the primary and secondary operations carried out by Border Services Officers (BSOs) to assess their success in expediting legitimate travellers and interdicting inadmissible people and their goods. The evaluation covered a four-year period from fiscal year 2011–12 to 2015–16 and was conducted by the CBSA’s Program Evaluation Division.

What the evaluation found


Given the increasing volume of marine travellers and the emergence of marine travel in the Arctic, there is a continued need for TPM.


Efficiency and Economy

An analysis of cost per traveller (primary processing only) suggests that TPM is comparatively more expensive than the processing of travellers in other modes; however, due to the relatively low volume of marine travellers, this results in low total cost to the Agency.


  1. The evaluation recommends that the Vice-President of Programs Branch develop a more accurate and reliable method for collecting TPM data, including a specific method for gathering data for ferries and tour boats.
  2. The Vice-President of Programs Branch should develop a deterrence mechanism to strengthen the existing private boater processing model to improve compliance with border legislation.
  3. The Vice-President of Programs Branch should engage federal public safety partners to conduct a private boat risk assessment, including the state of non-report.
  4. The Vice-President of Programs Branch, in consultation with the Vice-President of Operations Branch, should develop risk-based guidelines to improve private boat examination rate.

For more information about this evaluation and its findings, please consult the Evaluation of Traveller Processing (Marine) report, including the Management Action Plan, accessible online at Evaluation of Traveller Processing (Marine).

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