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U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Sept. 15 that under its Donations Acceptance Program the City of Pharr, Texas, will help fund the construction of 24 new secondary inspection bays at the Pharr land port of entry. Thirteen of these bays will include cold storage unit equipment to ensure that examinations of produce imported from Mexico will not be compromised by outside elements. The project will also include the construction of a new 10,000-square-foot agriculture inspection and training facility and provide the equipment and tools necessary to outfit it.
According to CBP, this upgraded facility will enhance the ability of CBP agriculture specialists to perform on-site inspections and testing, further facilitating trade through the Pharr port of entry. CBP notes that in fiscal year 2019 this POE processed nearly 1,800 commercial trucks transporting more than $13 million worth of agricultural products each day, accounting for nearly 15 percent of all fresh produce imported into the U.S. The planned improvements “will have a significant positive impact on our ability to expedite the processing time and get shipments on their way into U.S. commerce,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez.