U.S. and Mexican government officials announced Dec. 13 the expansion of a pilot project that will see U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexico’s Servicio de Administracion Tributaria performing outbound joint cargo clearance and examinations at Arizona’s Port of Nogales.

The initial phase of this pilot began July 25 at the Mariposa port of entry in Nogales. It involves CBP and SAT conducting joint cargo clearance examinations, which is reported to have lowered processing times for cargo trucks by as much as 85 percent by eliminating the need for trucks to stop for paperwork and possible inspection on both sides of the border. A CBP press release states that by adding an outbound component to this pilot the two agencies anticipate further reducing cargo inspections and wait times at the border.

Two similar pilots are also being conducted: one at Laredo Texas International Airport that focuses on air cargo shipments for the automotive, electronics, and aerospace industries that are destined to Mexico, and one at the Mexican Customs facilities at Mesa de Otay, Baja California, that deals with low-risk, high-volume agricultural commodities that are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Release Program. A third, at San Jeronimo, Chihuahua, which will focus on finished electronics shipped from Mexico to the U.S., is expected to launch in spring 2017.

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