With information from AP, author Astrid Galván from The News Mexico news website analyzes the recent agreement between the two countries to shorten the wait time while crossing the border.
Federal authorities say a program that allows U.S. and Mexico officers to jointly inspect commercial trucks heading north has drastically reduced border crossing wait times in Arizona.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske and his Mexican counterpart, Ricardo Trevino, said at a news conference on Thursday in Nogales, Arizona, that wait times for certain cargo shipments from Mexico into the U.S. dropped from three to four hours to just 25 minutes.
The pilot program that began last week includes only trucks enrolled in a special anti-terrorism program that allows them to go through expedited inspections. The dual inspection program, which is currently in a 90-day pilot phase, allows Mexican customs officers who have been screened by U.S. authorities to work in the cargo inspection facility at the Nogales Port of Entry in Arizona. Mexican authorities already inspect outbound trucks before they get to the U.S., meaning the co-inspections were cut from two different searches to just one.
“The things we are talking about today are just very important to improve the speed of commerce,” Kerlikowske said. “The unified cargo processing saves time, it saves trade stakeholders money, and that means that cargo, especially produce that is so subject to environmental concerns, moves more quickly.”
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