With the aim of speeding the Mexican agriculture and livestock sector exports to the USA, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), the Tax Administration Service (SAT) and the USA Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operate a Joint Inspection Pilot Program.
The program involves that the shippings having a USA safety certification from the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) cross the Mexican border without inspection through a special lane called Fast, this allowing the border crossing to last 3.5 h less in average.
We must remember that in Mexico, the vehicles that wish to leave the country go through a safety system called fiscal traffic light, that determines if the vehicle must be subject to a customs inspection.
Later on, the shipping is inspected in the USA customs by the CBP’s and SAT’s staff and, in the case of goods regulated by the SADER, the National Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality Service (SENASICA) intervenes to establish if they fulfil the official regulations and to ascertain that there are no risks concerning pests and diseases.
The joint program’s goal is to speed the Mexican exports inspections, and in case that suspicions regarding health are noticed, the shipment will be immediately returned to its place of origin through the same special lane.
Through this pilot program, from January 11th to August 25th more than 23,000 tonnes of food (86% plant-derived and 14% meat-derived) have entered the USA through the Fast lane of the Colombia (Nuevo León) - Laredo (Texas) border in an average time of 1.5-2 hours in comparison with the 5 or 7 hours spent in the normal border crossing.
The SENASICA is preparing a Memorandum of Understanding proposal with the customs authorities of both countries to expand the program to other important border crossings regarding agrifood such as Tijuana and Mexicali (Baja California); San Luis Rio Colorado and Nogales (Sonora); Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua), and Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas).
Monday, September 2nd, 2019/ SADER/ Mexico.