Are multinational customs facilities the way of the future? It seems counter-intuitive, but we may be forgiven for thinking so, if the new initiative pioneered by airport executives at Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport is anything to go by. From October this year, the Texan town and its Mexican neighbour Metamoros are set to share use of a dual customs hangar.The $2.4 million development is currently under construction and is intended to decrease transit times within the US: once both Mexican and US customs have processed shipments in a single hangar, the shipment becomes domestic and can be delivered anywhere within the States. Given that air freight services are often employed for the most time-sensitive of shipments, this will surely be welcome news for Mexican exporters and US importers.
|The Tijuana-Mexico border|
Michael Jones, Business Development Manager at Brownsville, hopes it will make his airport stand out to shippers: "at any other US airport, you would have to go to one of the six designated airports in Mexico and wait there to clear customs, and that could be a process of two or three days, even a week," he commented.
Jones went on the state that this type of service was likely to grow as word of its availability spreads. While currently only a co-location exercise, the implications for the future of customs authorities are worth some thought: could the growth of such a trend encourage more bi-lateral trade agreements; would dual customs anyways privilege one domestic market over another; is this a service likely to remain particular to air freight services across the Atlantic? Let us know your thoughts!