WASHINGTON— U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today that it has made preliminary selections for five new public-private partnerships and is continuing progress on an additional existing project. These six projects in California, Florida and Texas are designed to support growth in cross-border trade and travel.
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 allows CBP to create a reimbursable fee agreement program to increase CBP’s ability to provide new or enhanced services on a reimbursable basis by creating partnerships with five entities. The entities selected for these partnerships are Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; The City of El Paso, Texas; South Texas Assets Consortium; Houston Airport System; and Miami-Dade County.
“These partnerships will allow greater flexibility for CBP to work with our stakeholders to support growth in trade and travel,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski. “Together, we can better facilitate the four to five percent continued growth anticipated over each of the next five years.”
The reimbursable services proposals were reviewed and ranked based on criteria including: impact on current CBP operations, health and safety issues, community and economic benefits, and the feasibility of instituting the agreements in a timely manner. CBP will complete the negotiations with the five applicants by December 31, 2013. These agreements will not replace existing services, and new services can include all customs and immigration inspection-related matters.
The reimbursable services authority is a key component of CBP’s Resource Optimization Strategy, and will allow CBP to provide new or expanded services at domestic ports of entry reimbursed by the partner entity. This will have a positive impact on the Nation’s economy – particularly through a reduction in wait times.
CBP is also making progress on an existing public private partnership by finalizing the terms of Tijuana Cross Border Terminal (TCBT). The TCBT will allow ticketed travelers to cross directly between Tijuana’s A.L. Rodríguez International Airport in Mexico and Otay Mesa, Calif. CBP expects to begin the twelve to fourteen month construction project as early as August.