As a result of the Cabinet decision on December 9, 2016 the United States and the Netherlands will formally begin negotiations to implement U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance operations at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) in early 2017.
With Preclearance, travelers undergo CBP immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections before boarding a flight to the United States at a foreign airport rather than upon arrival in the U.S. More than 11,410 flights from AMS carrying nearly 2,488,199 million travelers flew to the United States in Fiscal Year 2016.
Preclearance benefits travelers, host airports, and air carriers in addition to being a strong economic opportunity for both the host country and the United States. Preclearance has the potential to increase capacity and growth opportunities for airports and air carriers in the host country and the United States, while improving the traveler experience. For travelers, Preclearance leads to faster connections and the ability to exit the airport immediately upon landing the United States. Preclearance also allows law enforcement to identify potential threats at the earliest opportunity.
AMS submitted a letter of interest to add Preclearance operations during the first Preclearance open season in 2014. In May 2015, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson identified the airport as a prioritized Preclearance location.
Preclearance operations began in 1952 at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Today, CBP has more than 600 law enforcement officers and agriculture specialists stationed at 15 air Preclearance locations in 6 countries: Aruba; Freeport and Nassau, the Bahamas; Bermuda; Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, Canada; Dublin and Shannon, Ireland; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Last year, CBP cleared more than 18 million passengers through these Preclearance locations.