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REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – U.S. and Mexico announced a new program which will help to implement coordinated efforts to inspect merchandise that has crossed the border.

Instead of trucks being inspected twice, they will only be checked once.

The Inspeccion Conjunta (Joint Inspection) program will allow officials from Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (Service of Tax Administration, SAT) in Mexico, and from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the U.S. to check merchandise that has crossed from Mexico through the Reynosa-Pharr International Bridge, once it is on American land.

INDEX Reynosa, the maquila trade association, says the program will benefit almost a third of its members, in addition to those who sign up for the benefits of the new program.

INDEX Reynosa will be responsible for pre-registering companies to use the new service.

This new measure will save businesses 70 percent of the time it takes for trucks to cross the bridge, Gerardo Suarez Hasbach, administrator for Customs Operation Central, said.

In Reynosa, 45 companies within IMMEX already have official certification and would be able to take part in the Joint Inspection program, Jaime Nova Palma, customs director in Reynosa, added.

From January to September of this year, those companies made more than 65,000 foreign trade activities, Nova Palma explained.

Nowadays the approximated time to cross from Reynosa to Pharr is 2 hours and 10 minutes, but once the program is working, the time will be considerably less than two hours. Authorities expect to gain a 30-minute span of time.

The first phase of implementation will see the program run from 7 a.m. until 12 noon at the Reynosa Pharr International Bridge.

The Joint Inspection program started in July at the Nogales International Bridge in Arizona. Its purpose is to serve companies under the C-TPAT certification, a U.S. government program that guarantees companies using it are reliable.

Mexico has its OEA/NEEC and the FAST program, on which low risk companies to use a certain lane to cross the border faster.

Editor’s Note: This story was translated from Spanish to English by Rio Grande Guardian editor Melva Lavín-Castillo. Click here to read the original story.