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Practice Areas

CBP to Pursue Upgraded Inspection and Other Systems Along Northern Border

Friday, May 10, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has determined the approach it will mostly likely take over the next five to seven years to enhance its response to emergent border security threats along the U.S.-Canada border while advancing trade and travel facilitation. The Detection, Inspection, Surveillance and Communications Technology Expansion Alternative will focus on increased patrol activity and deploying more and better technologies to support CBP’s detection, inspection and surveillance capabilities and operational communications. CBP states that this alternative is consistent with current statements of national policy with regard to northern border security and trade and travel facilitation goals.

According to CBP, the release of this final determination concludes a process of assessment of the potential for agency activities to impact the environment along the northern border and recommends what measures CBP anticipates it will routinely consider to reduce the potential for environmental harm from its actions. Other alternatives studied included no action (continuing with the same facilities, technology, infrastructure and approximate level of personnel currently in use, deployed or currently planned), facilities development and improvement (new permanent facilities or improvements to existing facilities, including ports of entry), tactical security infrastructure development (constructing additional barriers, access roads and related facilities), and flexible direction (allowing CBP to follow any of the above directions as deemed necessary).

CBP chose not to utilize the flexible direction alternative because it is more resource intensive than the risk-based approach envisioned for enhancing border security. However, the agency has previously said that changes in the nature, intensity or locations of cross-border threats, or changes in national security or trade, travel and economic priorities, may compel it to adopt this alternative in the future.

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