San Diego/Otay, CA
As a certified C-TPAT company, we are committed to educating all our Business Partners on critical supply chain security issues.
We recommend all Business partners perform a periodic risk assessment of their international supply chain in order to identify and correct gaps vulnerabilities, and weaknesses. All areas of vulnerability should be clearly identified and corrective actions taken as needed to address those weaknesses.
April 12, 2022
Trucks are facing lengthy delays along the Texas-Mexico border, with wait times at some border crossings exceeding five hours and commercial traffic dropping by as much as 60 percent. The longer than average wait times – and the subsequent supply chain disruptions – are unrelated to CBP screening activities and are due to additional and unnecessary inspections being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) at the order of the Governor of Texas.
Local trade associations, officials, and businesses are requesting the Texas state government discontinue their additional border truck inspection process because it is not necessary to protect the safety and security of Texas communities and is resulting in significant impacts to local supply chains that will impact consumers and businesses nationally.
These unnecessary inspections are occurring when vehicles exit U.S. ports of entry within the El Paso and Laredo areas of operation after being comprehensively inspected and cleared to enter the United States by CBP. As a result, vehicles have been significantly delayed in exiting the federal inspection plaza, leading to traffic disruptions and critical impacts to an already-strained supply chain.
Every day, at ports of entry, the employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) are at work for the American people ensuring the efficient flow of lawful trade and travel that is so vital to a strong economy, while enforcing hundreds of different laws for multiple federal, state, and local agencies. The ports of entry along our Southwest border allow for the continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel, which is critical to our nation’s economic stability and vibrancy, but they also are the frontline of defense against threats posed by transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). Our efforts ensure shipments of perishable goods, like fruits, vegetables and meat products destined to grocery stores, medical supplies and medicines reach doctor’s offices and hospitals and manufacturing supplies reach plants to keep them open. The movement of these goods are vital not only to communities along the border but across the United States as these goods are used across every business sector and industry in the U.S. The strength of the American economy relies heavily on the efficient flow of cross-border commerce.
Our work to manage supply chain disruptions resulting from Texas DPS inspections:
In fiscal year 2021 the Laredo Field Office processed more than 3.9M commercial trucks at eight ports of entry with an estimated import value over $212B. The El Paso Field Office processed more than 1M commercial trucks at five ports of entry, with an estimated import value of over $69B. These two field offices located with operations predominantly in the state of Texas, account for more than $280B in cross-border commerce annually.
Laredo Field Office Wait Times: The Laredo Field Office has seen a significant increase in commercial wait times at ports of entry since April 8, 2022, when inspections by Texas DPS began. Hildalgo/Pharr which averages a 63 minute wait time, reached a peak wait of 320 minutes and experienced a 35% drop in commercial traffic. Currently, protests being conducted in Mexico blocking access to the bridge, purportedly over these Texas DPS inspections, have reduced commercial traffic by 100%.
Colombia Solidarity Bridge, which averages a 26 minute wait time, reached a peak wait of 300 minutes and has seen over a 60% drop in commercial traffic.
- Field Office Leadership has remained in contact with the trade communities and expanded operations to surrounding ports of entry to assist with the diverted movement of trade based on business resumption contingency plans.
- Surrounding ports of Progreso, Rio Grande, and Roma extended their hours of operations to assist the Port of Hidalgo/Pharr and notified trade stakeholders.
- Port of Laredo extended their hours of operations at World Trade Bridge to clear and process diverted traffic from Colombia Solidarity Bridge.
- In all instances, port personnel have stayed and worked after hours to clear and process all commercial truck shipments on international bridges because of the increased DPS safety inspections.
El Paso Field Office Wait Times: The El Paso Field Office has seen a significant increase in commercial wait times at its ports of entry since April 8, 2022, when inspections by Texas DPS began. Ysleta, which averages a 52 minute wait time, reached a peak wait of 335 minutes and has seen over a 50% drop in commercial traffic. Bridge of Americas, which averages a 42 minute wait time, reached a peak wait of 300 minutes and has seen over a 30% drop in commercial traffic.
- The El Paso Field Office notified stakeholders of extended hours at the Santa Teresa port of entry to assist with congestion at El Paso ports and remains in contact with the trade community to address concerns.
Our Ongoing Enforcement efforts:
CBP employs an in-depth strategy at the border to detect and disrupt illegal activity, including narcotics and human smuggling. Pre-primary specialty teams and primary inspections by a CBP officer are examples of interventions available to CBP. The efforts of these teams are driven by experience and observational skills but also by a robust network of personnel who use advance information to identify individuals and transactions for additional scrutiny. Agriculture specialists along the Southern Border remain steadfast ensuring exotic plant pests and foreign animal diseases are not brought into the country. This includes mitigating the severe threat of African swine fever (ASF) that CBPAS are postured to safeguard against employing a layered enforcement posture of agriculture.
CBP utilizes the Automated Targeting System (ATS) as a decision support tool that compares traveler, cargo, and conveyance information against law enforcement, intelligence, and other enforcement data using risk-based assessments. ATS compares existing information on individuals and cargo entering and exiting the country with patterns identified as requiring additional scrutiny. The patterns—or risk assessments—are based on CBP officer experience, analysis of trends of suspicious activity, and raw intelligence corroborating those trends.
CBP also participates in whole of government efforts to stem transnational organized crime. For example, Operation Sentinel is a collaborative effort with CBP, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of State, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration of the U.S. Department of Justice that focuses on transnational criminal organizations associated with migrant smuggling.
Additionally, CBP utilizes Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) equipment to aid in the detection of illicit narcotics and smuggled migrants. The NII Program supports the detection and prevention of contraband, including conventional weapons, weapons of mass effect or destruction, drugs, currency, and other illegal merchandise, from entering or furthering their entry into the United States, while supporting a minimal impact on the flow of legitimate commerce. This program is an essential aspect of the OFO layered enforcement strategy.
In fiscal year 2021 CBP seized more than 900,000 pounds of narcotics. OFO seized over 730,000 pounds of drugs at ports of entry, and in fiscal year 2022 through the end of February has already seized over 250,000 pounds of drugs.
Nationwide, CBP seizures of fentanyl have increased sharply since 2019. In FY2021, CBP seized more than 11,000 pounds of fentanyl, more than twice the weight seized in FY2020 and about four times as much as FY2019.
- On April 8th, officers at the Laredo port of entry seized 427 pounds of cocaine worth more than $3M. For more information click here.
- On April 8th, officers at the El Paso port of entry seized 47 pounds of cocaine work more than $500K. For more information click here.
- On April 6th, officers at the Pharr International Bridge Caro Facility stopped over $13M work of mixed narcotics from entering the U.S. For more information click here.
- On April 6th, officers at the Del Rio port of entry seized over $600K work of mixed narcotics. For more information click here.
For more information of recent enforcement seizures and monthly activity please visit:
- Media Releases | U.S. Customs and Border Protection (cbp.gov) and
- CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2022 | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.
Below is the email from Britton Mullen, President Border Trade Alliance on the TX DPS Inspections.
The BTA has been working diligently with its members to urge Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to roll back his order directing DPS to increase commercial vehicle inspections at the border. The disruptions and miles-long backups not only harm the Texas and U.S. economies but will have the opposite of their intended effect. A full wrap-up is below, including a link to a press conference on the issue from Rep. Henry Cuellar. Also, if you’re a board member and would like to join the BTA Board WhatsApp group, email Garrick for an invitation. There you’ll find timely updates from your fellow board members about what they’re seeing and hearing as this situation evolves.
More news on the Texas DPS inspections below, as well as news on the March 31 COAC meeting and a reminder about our June joint conference with the Wilson Center Mexico Institute.
MAJOR DELAYS AS TEXAS GOV. ABBOTT ISSUES ORDER FOR ENHANCED DPS COMMERCIAL VEHICLE INSPECTIONS
Commercial vehicles trying to enter the United States from Mexico have been backed up for hours at Texas ports of entry following Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive on Wednesday that the Texas Department of Public Safety increase inspections.
Gov. Abbott said his inspection order is justified as a reaction to the Biden administration’s plan to end the pandemic-era Title 42 public health measure that turned away most asylum seekers at the border.
“The Biden Administration’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous cartels and deadly drugs to pour into the United States, and this crisis will only be made worse by ending Title 42 expulsions. With the end of Title 42 expulsions looming next month, Texas will immediately begin taking unprecedented action to do what no state has done in American history to secure our border.”
BORDER TRADE ALLIANCE: DUPLICATIVE INSPECTIONS, COSTLY DELAYS IN TRADE
The BTA issued a statement opposing the new enhanced inspections. “We would oppose any state-level action that results in an inspection process that duplicates the inspections already performed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, whose work at the land border ports of entry is informed by highly attuned risk assessment models, intelligence gathering, and a commitment to the agency’s dual mission of enforcement and facilitation.” The Dallas Morning News covered the story and included our quotes.
The situation is evolving, but BTA is working all channels, formal and informal, official and political, federal, state, and local to bring this costly and highly disruptive inspection program to an end.
DPS INSPECTIONS HURT TRADE, ECONOMY
BTA board members and friends are joining our efforts in urging the governor to reverse the order.
Board member and Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz: “Longer lines means less trade. Supply chains are impacted as well as goods and services. Time is money. Border delays mean consumers are waiting and that can impact inflation too.”
Former BTA Chairman Gerry Schwebel of IBC: “Why can’t we figure it out? Immigration is a federal responsibility and this should not impede or impact the legitimate flow of commerce and people into our country. Why do you put this on us as border communities? I have a problem with anything that impedes the flow of legitimate goods and people along the border.”
Board member and Texas International Produce Assoc. CEO Dante Galeazzi: “Warehouses have staff sitting idle, with no trucks to unload. Buyers in other parts of the country cannot understand why their product is not available. US trucking companies are losing money as they sit around for days with no loads to haul. This is destroying our business and the reputation of Texas.” TIPA sent this letter to Gov. Abbott opposing the directive.
Board members and Fresh Produce Assoc. of the Americas CEO Lance Jungmeyer: “Food shortages will rise as we head into Easter. Trucks are running out of diesel fuel to run refrigerated units on the trailers, resulting in catastrophic damage to highly perishable fresh fruits and vegetables. This means that even when a truck is able to cross the border eventually, the product could be damaged significantly.”
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar: “The best thing to do is to let the governor know that what he’s doing is not accomplishing what he wants. I don’t know what this has to do with Title 42. This is impacting trade, commerce.” Rep. Cuellar will hold a press conference this morning at 9:30 am CT that will stream via Facebook Live.
NEW CBP COMMISSIONER MAGNUS ATTENDS FIRST COAC PUBLIC MEETING
CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus attended COAC’s March 31 public meeting, the first in-person edition since the pandemic. Twelve of the 20 COAC members and all five alternates are new to the committee. “To those of you who are new COAC members, I want to thank you for your willingness to take on this incredibly important work with us to modernize trade and tackle the many big challenges in front of the trade community. Your collaboration with CBP and willingness to provide us with frank, thoughtful feedback is what makes this committee so valuable,” said Magnus, who co-chaired the meeting. The commissioner recognized that CBP and the trade community wouldn’t always agree on everything. “But we can commit to be honest, transparent and to take your needs and concerns into consideration,” said Magnus. “As commissioner, I will always be forthright, make myself available to you and be willing to tackle the tough issues.”
Good afternoon and Happy Friday to everyone.
Please note that Customs and Border Protection will observe Presidents’ Day on Monday, February 21, 2022, with the following hours of operation:
For Monday’s holiday, hours will be:
Northbound 8-2 pm FAST and Perishable entries only.
Southbound 9-2 pm CTPAT certified exports only.
Our office and warehouse will be open regular hours.
Please read the attached Notice for details.
Have a great day.
Eduardo "Lalo" Acosta
R.L. Jones San Diego
8830 Siempre Viva Rd. #100
San Diego, CA 92154
(619)661-8182 ext 1100
• World Customs Organization's broadest set of Changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule made in the past 5 years.
• Trade User Responses to CBP Forms 28, 29 and CBP 4647 on New App
• ACE Portal Modernization Phase 1
• February 20th Deadline to log into current ACE Portal to be linked to modernized ACE Portal
• GUIDANCE: Modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States – Section 301 China Remedy
• Ports of LA/Long Beach to Reconsider Container Dwell Fee Feb. 4
• Mexico’s Digital Carta Porte Supplement Now Enforced
• Federal Holidays for 2022
Good Morning Trade Participants,
For your awareness, CBP Otay Mesa and Tecate Commercial facilities are experiencing unexpected issues with ACE Portal, as informed in CAMS #50822371 - Issues accessing ACE Portal Message received at 0947 local time.
Otay Mesa Commercial facility is operating under contingency arrival processing with all available lanes. Current wait times are averaging an hour for both laden and empty. There is no impact to southbound operations.
Mexico SAT has been informed of the issue we are experiencing and we will jointly monitor the traffic in the event this does not resolve timely.
We will provide additional updates as needed or once ACE Portal issue is resolved, as customary we will consider the need for additional processing times if it becomes necessary, in coordination with Mexico SAT.
Please feel free to share message with any interested parties.
Branch Chief Cargo
Otay Mesa Commercial Operations
San Diego CA 92154
**CAMS #50822371 - Issues accessing ACE Portal**