Published on : Saturday, December 21, 2013
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection today finalized the agreements for five public-private partnerships during an official signing ceremony. 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 entities selected for these partnerships are Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; The City of El Paso, Texas; 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.
“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 Houston Airport System actively seeks out new ways in which to partner with U.S. Customs & Border Protection leaders in working to alleviate wait times for arriving international passengers,” says Saba Abashawl, Chief External Affairs Officer for the Houston Airport System. “We view the 560 Program as an investment opportunity and we are confident that the investment will pay significant dividends for both the local economy as well as the city’s quality of life.”
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. The deadline to complete the negotiations with the five applicants is December 31, 2013. 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.
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