Binational Agreement To Speed Up Commercial Crossings At US-Mexico Border

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
June 05, 2015

The United States and Mexico are preparing to launch a program that would speed up commercial border crossings by allowing customs agents from both countries to conduct pre-inspections on foreign soil. 

Mónica Ortiz Uribe
Commercial trucks wait in line at the international bridge in El Paso, Texas.

Talks between the two nations are moving forward after Mexico passed a law in late April that allows U.S. customs agents to carry licensed firearms south of the border.

Under the agreement, U.S. customs agents would be posted in Mexico inspecting shipments headed north, while Mexican customs agents would work in the U.S. inspecting cargo headed south. The program would help relieve congested border crossings without investing federal dollars in costly infrastructure.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection expects to start pre-inspections later this year during two pilot projects. One will involve American customs officials working across the border from San Diego, Calif. while the other will be in San Jeronimo, Chihuahua across the border from Santa Teresa, N.M.