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Travellers delayed as customs system goes down at airports across Canada


International travellers across the country can expect long delays in order to clear customs this evening due to a nation-wide outage of the Canada Border Services Agency’s primary inspection kiosks and NEXUS.

Robin Smith, spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said the outage was affecting self-serve kiosks that are normally used by people arriving from international destinations — but noted that “it doesn’t mean a complete standstill.”

“Instead of using the kiosk, passengers are able to use the paper forms,” Smith said in an interview with the Star Sunday afternoon. “It’s more manual but passenger services are still being processed.”

Other major Canadian airports have been affected, including in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Calgary.

Jenny Duncan, a spokesperson for Vancouver International Airport says YVR was notified of the outage around 7 a.m. Pacific Time and international flight arrivals began to get busier around 11 a.m.

Duncan says she doesn’t have statistics handy, but an hours-long outage of the CBSA systems is “very rare” and CBSA staff are working to resolve what she believes to be a technical issue.

Airport staff tweeted at around 1:30 p.m. that they are working to help arriving guests fill out customs forms manually, as well as keep people hydrated.

With files from The Canadian Press

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