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Free and Secure Trade at U.S. borders

ATSCC Arizona CBP Operations

Away from the rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C., officials on both sides of the border have hunkered down to find ways to enhance the flow of trade. A prime example of that cooperation is the Unified Cargo Processing Pilot Program, first implemented in Nogales, Arizona, through the Free and Secure Trade (FAST), a clearance program for commercial vehicles carrying low-risk shipments entering the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. The concept is simple: agents from Mexico and the U.S simultaneously inspect vehicles in a U.S. port, effectively cutting inspection times by half. In Nogales, the wait time has dropped from three to four hours to roughly half an hour. What makes this program successful is, among other things, FAST’s use of technology, like bar codes and transponders, to clear vehicles at a faster rate.

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