U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced 20 tentative selections for new reimbursable services agreements to promote economic growth in cross-border trade and travel across the country.
Two Puerto Rico-based companies — Western Aviation Service, Corp. at the Rafael Hernández Airport, and Pérez y Cía. de Puerto Rico Inc., with locations in Aguadilla, Fajardo, Mayagüez, Ponce, and San Juan — are part of the group of participants.
These public-private partnerships in California; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Louisiana; Massachusetts; Missouri; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Puerto Rico; Texas; and Virginia will allow approved private sector and state and local government entities to reimburse CBP for expanded services for incoming commercial and cargo traffic and international traveler arrivals.
“As trade and travel continue to grow, these partnerships allow us to keep pace, while ensuring the safety and security of the travelers and cargo arriving in the United States,” said Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.
“By working with our public-private partners, we are able to maximize our resources to facilitate legitimate trade and travel, which directly supports our local and national economies,” McAleenan said.
CBP is authorized to enter into partnerships with private sector and government entities to provide new or expanded services on a fee basis, pursuant to Section 481 of the Homeland Security Act, 2002, as amended by the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act, 2016.
Reimbursable services under this authority include customs, agricultural processing, border security, support, and immigration inspection-related matters at any facility at which CBP provides or will provide services. Associated costs may include the salaries of additional staff, overtime hours, and administration expenses.
Since its establishment in 2013, CBP has expanded the Reimbursable Services Program to 149 stakeholders, providing over 483,000 additional processing hours at the request of our partners—accounting for the processing of more than 10 million travelers and over 1.4 million personal and commercial vehicles.
The proposals were evaluated utilizing a multi-layered process to ensure compatibility with CBP’s mission priorities, the agency noted.
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.