Business, Freight News, Logistics

Southern Border Crisis – Commercial Impact and Constructive Measure

[ April 8, 2019   //   ]

Several hundred importers, exporters, customs brokers, truckers and all others impacted by the new realities on southern border cargo and passenger crossings, received an update from Customs and Border Protection, Dept. of Homeland Security on April 4. Recognizing the unprecedented nature of the pressure being imposed on CBP, key participants in the southern border trade community offer a constructive recommendation, below.

Summary of current situation, as described by CBP: 103,000 migrants attempted border crossings in March, more coming, unprecedented, completely overwhelming CBP personnel, necessitating additional personnel, currently shifting CBP inspectors from other land crossings (not Canada border, yet), from seaports, then likely from airports. Even with those re-assignments, insufficient to process migrants while maintaining current cargo and passenger lanes. So, many lanes are being closed; experiencing dramatic increases in wait times for cargo and passengers along the entire southern border, Wait times expected to increase further during Holy Week approaching. Already, for example, truck crossing times are going from 50 minutes to 9 hours at various crossings. CBP will conduct weekly updates to the trade.

Trade Community Proposal to CBP: Well-established trade security programs such as C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) are designed to expedite import/export processing for companies which have successfully completed extensive CTPAT scrutiny protocols. These companies are essentially “known shippers” – similar to TSA Pre-Check. Such companies have been promised “fast-lane’ treatment. Now is the time to implement: CBP should immediately dedicate lanes for the thousands of CTPAT-vetted companies. This would reduce processing time, increase security, and expedite truck flow for legitimate commerce across the Southern Border. Source: Agriculture Transportation Coalition.

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