LAREDO, Texas– U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) at Laredo Port of Entry announced via a recent trade bulletin that effective Dec. 7, 2020 all northbound empties, with the exception of bona fide participants in trusted trader programs (CBP-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), Free and Secure Trade (FAST)) will be redirected to the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge.
“CBP has experienced a steady increase in commercial traffic at World Trade Bridge over the last decade. This redirection of empty tractors and trailers through Colombia-Solidarity Bridge will help greatly to alleviate wait times at World Trade Bridge, provide for a more orderly and efficient facilitation of lawful trade while CBP maintains its robust border security posture and ensures compliance with more than 400 federal laws and regulations,” said Acting Port Director Eugene Crawford, Laredo Port of Entry.
The hours of operation to receive northbound empty tractors, trailers, and stakebeds at Colombia-Solidarity Bridge will be from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays starting on Dec. 7, 2020. Bona fide participants in C-TPAT, FAST programs will still be able to cross through World Trade Bridge.
Laredo trade operations leadership has reached out to the international trade community, including customhouse brokers, carriers associations from both the U.S. and Mexico to discuss and communicate this effort to adjust traffic flow to better facilitate lawful trade in advance of the bulletin’s issuance.
In June 2021, the pilot program to separate empty from laden commercial traffic will be reviewed for effectiveness and a collaborative decision will be made before formally continuing or discontinuing the program.