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US ports express reluctance to pay for new customs facilities

US ports express reluctance to pay for new customs facilities

US: The American Association of Port Authorities has criticised US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies requesting port authorities to build and incur the costs of BCP staffing facilities at ports.

The AAPA said that the CBP should not be seeking ways to build new facilities while there continues to be a shortage of CBP officers for maritime activities.

In a letter to the CBP, the AAPA said: “CBP is requesting consolidated and custom-built facilities (according to CBP design specifications) for CBP personnel. From a port perspective, generally CBP staff already have adequate facilities and in most cases these facilities are occupied on non-revenue lease terms.

“Additionally, many ports are concerned about the continued shortage of CBP maritime staffing and would like to first better understand how staffing decisions are made and secondly, if the staffing decisions are dictating the request for new CBP facilities.”

“CBP does not allow ports to employ common practices ports use to control costs when building facilities for themselves and other tenants. CBP’s requests often result in expensive, overbuilt facilities. What is the statutory authority for requesting a new CBP facility to be funded by an entity other than the federal government?”

AAPA also weighed in with Congress on CBP’s facilities requests, staffing shortages and what the AAPA said was an increasing trend of CBP relying on the Reimbursable Services Program to address staffing shortages.