WASHINGTON–Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano Tuesday joined U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar and Republic of Korea Minster of Justice Jae-Jin Kwon at the Washington Dulles International Airport to announce a reciprocal agreement for each nation’s trusted traveler programs—the U.S. Global Entry program and Korea Smart Entry Service.
“I am proud of the extraordinary bond between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and today’s agreement marks another major step forward in our partnership,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Global Entry and Korea’s Smart Entry Service are not just quick, easy, and efficient for travelers; they also help our customs authorities focus on those travelers we know less about, so that we can more effectively identify potential threats and keep our borders and our countries secure.”
Korea is the third country to have a fully reciprocal, publicly available trusted traveler program with the United States, joining the Netherlands and Canada, and is the first permanent trusted traveler program the United States has in Asia. Global Entry kiosks and Smart Entry Service e-gates allow expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.
“International travel is fundamental to our nations’ economies,” said Acting Commissioner Aguilar. “With this agreement, we are delighted to do our part in strengthening economic vitality between our two nations while strengthening national security.”
Currently available at 25 U.S. international airports, Global Entry streamlines the screening process at airports for trusted travelers through biometric identification and reduces average wait times by 70 percent, with more than 75 percent of travelers using Global Entry processed in under five minutes. More than a million trusted travelers now receive Global Entry benefits, and these travelers have used its automated kiosks to expedite their entry more than 2.3 million times since the program’s inception.
The Global Entry program became a permanent initiative in January when President Obama signed an Executive Order outlining new initiatives to increase travel and tourism in the United States while encouraging job creation. The Global Entry program is another way DHS and CBP are helping to promote these efforts and stimulate the economy, while maintaining the highest standards of security.