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Mexico/United States: Memorandum of Understanding on Cargo Pre-Inspection Program

(Oct. 22, 2015) On October 15, 2015, authorities from the United States and Mexico signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the U.S.-Mexico Cargo Pre-Inspection Program, which aims to reduce inspections of shipments between the two countries by implementing procedures that will allow inspection of cargo generally only once (instead of twice, one inspection by each country) by customs personnel from both countries operating jointly at sites located on both sides of the border. (Press Release, México y Estados Unidos firman memorándum de entendimiento para lanzar su programa de despacho aduanero conjunto (Oct. 15, 2015), Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público [Mexico’s Department of Treasury] website.)

The program will begin operations at the Mesa de Otay Customs Facility in Baja California, Mexico, and at the Laredo International Airport in Laredo, Texas, this year; a third location is being planned for San Jerónimo, Chihuahua, Mexico. The goal of the program is to facilitate trade and improve the security of customs operations in the two countries.  (Id.; Press Release, Readout of Secretary Johnson’s Trip to Mexico (Oct. 15, 2015), Department of Homeland Security website.)

Earlier this year, the Mexican government enacted an amendment to its firearms law to allow the issuance of permits for possession of firearms to foreign government agents, who have been duly accredited by the Mexican government and who are stationed in Mexico’s customs offices, in order to allow those agents to help process the transit of merchandise therein, provided that applicable requirements pursuant to bilateral agreements are met. (Gustavo Guerra, Mexico: Amendment to Firearms Law, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (July 1, 2015).)