U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced March 31 two steps aimed at further improving security and service levels at U.S. ports of entry.
First, CBP is accepting through April 30 applications for new public-private partnership agreements that will allow private reimbursement for enhanced CBP services, including those related to customs and immigration inspections. CBP signed five such agreements in 2013 with ports in Houston, Dallas, El Paso, South Texas and Miami. CBP has now established a Reimbursable Services and Donations Acceptance authority to further facilitate these partnerships, which are not to exceed five years.
Second, CBP has allocated 2,000 additional officers among 44 ports in 18 states to reduce wait times and help speed the flow of lawful goods and travelers into the U.S. Among the cities that will see an increase in personnel at their local ports are New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Buffalo, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Laredo, Nogales and New Orleans.