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First FAST shipment clears
U.S. Customs quickly


May 20, 2003

Toronto, Ontario – Livingston International Inc. was the first customs broker to use U.S. Customs’ new electronic release system called FAST (Free and Secure Trade), designed to combine tighter border security
with greater efficiency, Tom Ruth, senior vice-president, brokerage and logistics, announced today.

Last Thursday, Livingston’s first official FAST shipment crossed into the U.S through Detroit, Michigan. The driver used transponder technology to identify the automotive shipment to U.S. Customs and received immediate release approval from U.S. Customs.

Since late 2002, Livingston has been working on a U.S. Customs’ pilot project with a major automotive manufacturer to provide release information before the truck arrives at the border. The system, part
of Customs’ NCAP (National Customs Automation Prototype) program, is available only to C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) accepted importers and carriers, who must make specific, individual commitments to help improve U.S. border security.

With FAST, carriers or exporters can access Livingston’s Insight FAST Internet-based application and transmit manifest data to U.S. Customs directly through Livingston’s communications network. Explained Mr. Ruth: “It is fully integrated with our mainframe operating system and gives both the carrier and importer enhanced visibility, system validations and message confirmation. In addition, it automatically opens the requisite system files allowing for efficient entry processing and information management,” he said.

Although only large importers have jumped on the bandwagon so far, Mr. Ruth expects FAST will eventually be adopted by many medium and large importers who are willing to invest in the development work and
persuade their carriers that the benefits of sailing through Customs outweigh the new responsibility for providing advance cargo information. “This is especially true given Custom’s recent statements regarding the eventual elimination of the line release program,” he said.

Mr. Ruth credits initiatives like C-TPAT with keeping the U.S. border flowing despite the recent orange alert. “C-TPAT will continue to drive changes in the ways companies import into the U.S. It’s a prime example of the trend to requiring information in advance of the arrival of the shipment at the border. By knowing exactly what’s
going to cross the border, U.S. Customs can focus its attention on ‘unknown’ or higher-risk shipments.”

Livingston International Inc. was one of the first customs brokers to be accepted for membership in C-TPAT. The Toronto-based company facilitates two-way trade between the United States and Canada through customs brokerage, transportation management and its Insight web-based technology solutions for managing trade-related information and processes. Livingston International has over 70 offices and approximately 1650 employees located at key border points and other strategic locations across the United States and Canada.


For more information, contact:
Dawneen MacKenzie
Vice-President, Public Affairs
Livingston International
1-800-387-7582 ext. 3109

Livingston International Inc.
405 The West Mall
Toronto ON Canada M9C 5K7

416 626-2800 ext. 3109
Fax 416 622-3942

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