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