Background

The U.S. and Mexico are considering a further expansion of an initiative to speed U.S.-bound shipments across their shared border.

Under the unified cargo processing program, officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexico’s Tax Administration Service conduct joint cargo inspections at the facilities of the importing or exporting country. If no issues exist, the driver and truck are released and the commodity is allowed to enter U.S. commerce directly. If an issue is discovered (e.g., prohibited or restricted goods), the shipment is sent for a secondary examination, which is conducted jointly by CBP and SAT.

CBP’s recent annual report said that the UCP program is now in operation at 12 border locations, with three added in 2021, and has resulted in a 50 percent or greater reduction of border wait times. A recent mid-year review released by the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue said the two sides have agreed to evaluate expanding this program even further.

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