Rep. Cuellar, City Officials Inaugurate U.S./Mexico Air Cargo Federal Customs Facility at Laredo International Airport
Laredo has first Mexican Customs pre-clearance facility in entire U.S.
Congressman Henry Cuellar and representatives from the City of Laredo today inaugurated a brand new, state-of-the-art Bi-National Federal Inspection Services (FIS) facility that will serve as a Mexican Customs pre-clearance facility for air cargo in Laredo, Texas, on Thursday, November 12 at the Laredo International Airport.
The FIS facility currently houses both U.S. and Mexican Customs. Congressman Cuellar worked with the governments of Mexico and the United States to establish this operation at the Laredo International Airport, which allows cargo to be pre-inspected by Mexican customs officers under the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) at the Laredo International Airport and arrive in Mexico as pre-inspected cargo. Cuellar also worked with the City of Laredo, which invested $3.3 million, to construct the facility.
On October 15 of this year, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Mexico’s Finance Minister Luis Videgaray signed the Bi-National Agreement in Mexico City. DHS worked in close coordination with the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit to develop the Cargo Pre-Inspection Program, which will formally begin operations at the Laredo International Airport. No other airport outside of Mexico is approved by the Mexican government to pre-inspect Mexico-bound air cargo, making Laredo, which already holds the title of the nation’s largest inland port, the only airport in the United States to have a Mexican customs pre-clearance facility.
“The Laredo International Airport is ranked in the top 500 all-cargo airports in the country and is also the only airport on our southern border with a U.S. customs availability 24/7/365,” Congressman Cuellar said.
“Pre-clearance facilities, such as this one in Laredo, benefit both countries by saving time and costs to the importer, while also increasing the competitiveness of both countries’ economies. These pre-inspected operations are designed to expedite the delivery of air-cargo to certified Mexican importers in the automotive, auto parts, electronic, electrical and aerospace industries. I thank the City of Laredo and representatives from both the United States and Mexico for working with me to accomplish this historic operation in Laredo,” Cuellar added.
“Mexican Customs at the Laredo International Airport will expand and solidify the City of Laredo, Texas as the premier commercial port on the southern border,” said City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz.
“The presence of Mexican Customs Pre-Inspection at the Laredo International Airport will resonate throughout Mexico’s Industrial sectors,” said Jose L. Flores, Manager, Laredo International Airport.