Starting in October, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will partner with Mexico’s Servício de Administración Tributaria to conduct joint cargo inspections at CBP’s Otay Mesa cargo facility. CBP anticipates that by eliminating separate inspections this collaboration will reduce wait times at the border and lower the cost of doing business in the region.
The announcement signals the latest expansion of the Unified Cargo Processing program, which is already being pilot tested at several other locations. These include Nogales, Ariz. (imports and exports), Laredo International Airport in Texas (air cargo shipments for the automotive, electronics, and aerospace industries destined to Mexico), the SAT facilities at Mesa de Otay, Baja California (low-risk, high-volume agricultural commodities that are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Release Program), and San Jeronimo, Chihuahua (finished electronics shipped from Mexico to the U.S.). CBP plans to further expand the pilot in the future.
CBP states that at its Otay Mesa facility the pilot test will first be available to Free and Secure Trade participants. Tentative hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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