LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) senior management, together with counterparts from Servicio de Administracion Tributaria/Aduana Mexico, private sector partners from Kansas City Southern (KCS) along with local Congressional and municipal representatives gathered in Laredo today to formally dedicate a processing building that will greatly help to facilitate CBP/SAT joint rail operations in Laredo.
“The ongoing collaboration and partnership efforts between CBP, SAT/Aduana Mexico and Kansas City Southern have yielded an innovative approach to processing increased rail traffic through the largest rail corridor on the Southern Border in a way that helps both countries realize their security and facilitation priorities,” said CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner, Office of Field Operations.
Located close to the railhead of the Laredo International Rail Bridge, the rail processing building dedicated today was constructed by KCS and enables Mexico Customs officers to work collaboratively with CBP officers. The joint operations allow Mexico Customs to complete their outbound inspections and CBP to perform their inbound inspection processes simultaneously, eliminating unnecessary delays and duplication while maintaining security and facilitating lawful commerce.
The joint operations are coupled with increased training and information sharing designed to strengthen the effectiveness of security efforts while enhancing understanding of private sector rail operations to help better facilitate traffic flow. The collaborative efforts are designed to help refine security while facilitating lawful commerce at a port of entry that has experienced a 16.5 percent increase in northbound rail traffic growth in 2017 and which is poised for increased growth in the future.
Among the key senior managers and dignitaries participating in the rail processing building dedication were CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John P. Wagner, (A) Executive Director Sidney Aki, Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office, Gerardo A. Suarez, Government of Mexico SAT/Aduana Mexico representative, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Ottensmeyer, Kansas City Southern and Vice President Bernardo Ayala, Union Pacific.
For more information about CBP’s trade facilitation and trade enforcement efforts, visit the TFTEA webpage.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.