The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card (ABTC) scheme was created in the late 1990s to respond to demands of the regional business community for simpler short-term entry procedures within APEC. For fully participating economies, the ABTC provides frequent business travellers with visa-free travel, multiple short-term entries into participating APEC economies, and expedited airport processing.
The ABTC scheme is comprised of 19 fully participating countries or economies: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Currently, Canada’s visa policy does not recognize an ABTC application as a visa application and thus Canada is a transitional member in the ABTC scheme, along with the United States. This means that Canada offers expedited entry to ABTC holders at its major international airports but does not receive, nor provide, visa-preclearance.
In June 2014, Canada began a domestic ABTC pilot project, whereby membership is limited to qualified Canadian applicants who are members of the NEXUS program. Cards are valid for up to five years from the date of issue, or to the validity of the holder’s primary travel document.
For the domestic pilot project, the CBSA obtains consent from applicants and members for collecting, using, and sharing of customs/personal information pursuant to the Certification and Consent Statement in the application package that an applicant will need to agree to before proceeding with the application, as well as a Privacy Statement in the application package that explains the authorities for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. It also includes an attestation that the applicant is a bona fide business person. For the purposes of this document, all references to personal information collected for the domestic ABTC pilot project are considered customs information.
Right of Access
Applicants are advised of the purposes, uses, disclosure and retention of their personal information in a Privacy Statement on the application form.
Electronic applications may be destroyed according to the following schedule:
- Rejected applications for ABTC: The application forms may be destroyed two years after the redress period has expired if there has been no request for redress. This information is kept in order to satisfy Privacy Act requirements to keep personal information for two years following the last administrative use, and to allow refused applicants the opportunity for redress.
- Successful applicants for ABTC: The applications may be destroyed six years after the date on which an application is approved.
Note that information shared with the United States’ Government Printing Office for card production will be purged as soon as the card is produced.Individuals may formally request access to their personal information, or access to corporate records related to, or created by the APEC Business Travel Card pilot project, by contacting the Access to Information and Privacy Division. More information about this can be found at: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/reports-rapports/pia-efvp/atip-aiprp/menu-eng.html. With respect to information collected by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), individuals will need to contact the US CBP for information on access rights and applicable laws.
If you have concerns about the collection, use, disclosure or retention of your personal information, you may issue a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada who is mandated to investigate. Complaints should be made in writing, and include your name, contact information, and a brief description of your concerns. Details of the complaint process can be found on the Privacy Commissioner’s Website: https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/report-a-concern/file-a-formal-privacy-complaint/file-a-complaint-about-a-federal-institution/
If you are denied membership in the ABTC pilot, or are cancelled or suspended from the program by the CBSA, you may write to the Recourse Directorate at Headquarters or on-line to request a review of the decision within 90 days of the date shown on the ABTC letter. Further information on these processes can be found at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/abtc-cvaa/menu-eng.html.
- Date modified: