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Language Access

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Language Access in Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has long recognized the importance of effective and accurate communication between Agency personnel and the public we serve. Many individuals visiting the United States from other nations read, write, speak, and understand English. Many individuals, however, do not read, write, speak, or understand English as their primary language. Such individuals are referred to as being "limited English proficient" or LEP. Language barriers can negatively impact interactions with the public, provision of services, and law enforcement activities. Ensuring effective communication with all persons, including persons who are limited English proficient (LEP), facilitates the CBP mission.


On August 11, 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13166: "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency." The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to examine the services they provide; identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP); and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them. It is expected that agency plans will provide for such meaningful access consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the agency. The Executive Order also requires that the Federal agencies work to ensure that recipients of Federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to their LEP applicants and beneficiaries.

Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes the importance of being able to communicate effectively with individuals, including LEP person, across its many missions and functions. Each DHS Component agency is responsible for following the DHS Language Access Plan to the extent it provides programs, services, and activities to the public and has contact with LEP individuals.

DHS Language Access Plan

CBP has published a plan that establishes language access policy and creates a system to provide meaningful access to CBP programs and activities to persons with limited English proficiency.

US Customs and Border Protection Language Access Plan

CBP Language Access Plan Translations in Multiple Languages:

美国海关及边境保卫局语言服务计划 (Chinese)

Douanes et protection des frontières des États Unis Plan d'accès à la langue (French)

यू.एस. कस्र्म्स एंि बॉिटि प्रोर्ेक्शन लैंग्वेज एक्सेस प्लान (Hindi)

Serviço de Alfândegas e Proteção das Fronteiras dos Estados Unidos Plano de Acesso Linguístico (Portuguese)

ਯੂ. ਐਸ. ਿਸਟਮਸ ਐਂਿ ਬਾਰਿਰ ਪਰੋਟੈਿਸ਼ਨ ਲੈਂਗਵੇਜ ਐਕਸੈਸ ਪਲੈਨ (Punjabi)

Protecția vamală și a frontierelor SUA Planul de acces lingvistic (Romanian)

Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos Plan de acceso lingüístico (Spanish)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Language Access Plan (Tagalog)

The CBP Supplementary Language Access Plan serves as an update to the original CBP Language Access Plan issued on November 18, 2016, and sets forth the standards, principles, and guidelines that CBP will use to provide, and improve, meaningful access for persons with limited English proficiency in CBP's operations, services, activities, and programs.

CBP Supplementary Language Access Plan

CBP Supplementary Language Access Plan Translations in Multiple Languages:

语言服务补充计 (Simplified Chinese)

Plan d'accès linguistique supplémentaire (French)

Zusätzlicher Sprachenzugangsplan (German)

पूरक लैंग्वेज एक्सेस प्लान (Hindi)

Programma supplementare per l'accesso alle Lingue Straniere (Italian)

補足言語アクセス計画 (Japanese)

Plano Suplementar de Acessi a Idiomas (Portuguese)

Plan de Acceso Lingüístico Suplementario (Spanish)

Multilingual Resources - Find Information in Your Language

Last Modified: May 20, 2024