The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Customs Operations (OFO) at the Laredo Port of Entry announced that as of December 7, 2020 all empty northbound tractor-trailers, with the exception of Participants in good faith in the programs of trusted merchants (CBP-Commercial Association against Terrorism -C-TPAT-) and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) will be redirected to the Colombia-Solidaridad Bridge.
“CBP has experienced a steady increase in commercial traffic on the World Trade Bridge over the last decade. This rerouting of empty tractors and trailers through the Colombia-Solidaridad Bridge will go a long way towards alleviating wait times at the World Trade Bridge, provide a more orderly and efficient facilitation of legal trade while CBP maintains its strong border security posture and ensures compliance with more than 400 federal laws and regulations,” said Acting Port Director Eugene Crawford of the Laredo Port of Entry.
The opening hours to receive tractors, trailers and empty stakes heading north at the Colombia-Solidaridad Bridge will be 8 a.m. at midnight from Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. at 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from December 7, 2020.
Good faith participants in the C-TPAT and FAST programs will still be able to cross the World Trade Bridge.
Laredo’s business operations leadership has reached out to the international business community, including customs brokers, US and Mexican carrier associations to discuss and communicate this effort to adjust traffic flow to better facilitate the legal trade before the issue of the bulletin.
In June 2021, according to CBP, the effectiveness of the pilot program to separate empty from loaded commercial traffic will be reviewed and a collaborative decision will be made before continuing or formally discontinuing the program.