U.S. to extend FAST program to Mexico

| 9/2/2003

The U.S. Customs Service has announced it will expand the Free and Secure Trade program to the U.S.-Mexico border beginning in September.

FAST is the harmonized process for shipments of known compliant importers that allows for expedited clearance of trans-border shipments, reduced customs information requirements and fewer physical inspections of qualifying cargo.

Any truck using FAST lane processing must be a Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism-approved carrier, carrying qualifying goods from a C-TPAT-approved manufacturer or importer. In addition, the driver must possess a valid FAST Commercial Driver Card.

The initial phase will begin in September at El Paso, TX, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. By January 2004, FAST is expected to be operational at the ports of Laredo-Nuevo Laredo, Hidalgo-Reynosa, Brownsville-Matamoros, Otay Mesa-Tijuana, Calexico-Mexicali and Nogales-Nogales.

FAST is already operational at a number of ports along the U.S.-Canada border and is scheduled to be implemented at all major northern border crossings by the end of 2004.