El Paso, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the city of El Paso, and U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke today announced the details of a public-private partnership announced in December 2013. Under authority from the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, CBP created a reimbursable fee agreement program to increase CBP’s ability to provide new or enhanced services on a reimbursable basis to support growth in cross-border trade and travel. The program goes into effect Sunday, January 26 and through it CBP will be able to open additional lanes during periods of heavy traffic.
“The utilization of public-private partnerships is an important component of CBP’s strategy to optimize resources,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski. “Together with our private sector partners, we can better facilitate trade and travel to continue to grow our local and national economies.”
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. 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.
El Paso is one of five entities selected for these partnerships. The others are Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; South Texas Assets Consortium; The City of Houston Airport System; and Miami-Dade County. These locations will cover the entirety of CBP air, land and sea operations.