The Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, told the NAFTA 20 conference in San Antonio last last week that the two countries are days away from unveiling the initiative, according to published reports.
The ambassador said there initially will be three inspection sites on the U.S.-Mexico border, and said U.S. Customs and Border Inspection officers will be in Mexican territory conducting the inspections, reports the Texas Tribune. However, he declined to pinpoint those locations. In addition, the start date for the program is uncertain.
Companies will have to apply and be vetted by both governments before they are approved.
It is my job to convince the Americans that this bilateral relationship with Mexico is the most important relationship it has on the face of the earth, said Sarukhan.
This new policy of in-country inspections will not have any immediate effect on the participants in the ongoing Cross Border Pilot Program with Mexico, since this pertains to cargo inspections and streamlines them at the point of loading and debarkation, according to Mexico Trucker Online.
The Cross Border Pilot Program, completing its first year, now has nine Mexican carriers participating. These nine carriers are operating 17 vehicles, 20 drivers and have made 221 successful crossings under the pilot program. Theyve been inspected, as required under the rules of the pilot program, 173 times with only minor issues arising.