Border patrol releases statistics about international travel



The U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its fiscal year 2015 travel and trade-related statistics.

Travel Facilitation Supports Economic Prosperity

CBP continues to support the Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy to expand the nation’s ability to attract and welcome international visitors while maintaining the highest standards of security.  CBP officers processed more than 382 million travelers at air, land and sea ports of entry in FY 2015, an increase of 2 percent from the previous fiscal year. More than 112 million international travelers arrived at U.S. air ports of entry, an increase of 5.1 percent from the previous fiscal year. Despite the continued increase in international air travelers, the national average wait time at the top 10 international airports was down 3 percent.

Utilizing Technology and Partnerships to Improve Passenger Experience

CBP officers are responsible for carrying out the complex and demanding mission of securing and expediting international trade and travel at all ports of entry. CBP’s Resource Optimization Strategy is transforming the way CBP does business in land, air and sea environments. As a result, the agency continues to bring advances in technology and automation at ports of entry. In FY 2015, CBP accomplished:

  • Installed Automated Passport Control kiosks in 14 new locations to streamline the traveler inspection process, reduce wait times and enhance security. At some APC locations, wait times decreased by as much as 27 percent. Eligible travelers can use APC kiosks to expedite their entry into the U.S. at 38 airports worldwide, including all major international airports in the United States.
  • Completed a pilot program in partnership with Airports Council International-North America for Mobile Passport Control, the first authorized smartphone app to expedite the entry process for U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors. The free app offers travelers arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Miami International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport another option to expedite their entry into the United States. CBP plans to expand MPC to more airports in 2016.
  • CBP announced additional partnerships to promote trade and travel. In July, CBP announced initial selections for nine new reimbursable services agreements under Section 559 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. Reimbursable services under Section 559 include customs and agricultural processing, border security and support services, and immigration inspection-related services at ports of entry.
  • CBP and the General Services Administration (GSA) evaluated and selected three proposals for further planning and development under the Donations Acceptance Program. Section 559 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 also authorized CBP and GSA to accept donations of real property, personal property (including monetary donations) and non-personal services from private sector and government entities.
  • Additionally, CBP’s five partnerships established under Section 560, to include Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the City of El Paso, the South Texas Assets Consortium, the Houston Airport System, and the Miami-Dade County in Florida, have provided new or enhanced port processing services on a reimbursable basis. A decrease in the average wait times at these locations is due in part to these partnerships with wait times in FY 2015 decreasing 14.6 percent at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, 11.1 percent at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and 7 percent at the Ysleta and Paso Del Norte Bridges in El Paso.

Trusted Traveler Programs

CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs, which provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks, reached record enrollments in FY 2015.

  • More than 965,000 people enrolled in the agency’s Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST) in FY 2015 to bring total enrollment to more than 4.2 million members, an increase of more than 27 percent.
  • Global Entry, the agency’s largest program with more than 2.6 million members, is operational at 47 U.S. airports and 13 Preclearance locations; these locations serve 99 percent of incoming travelers to the United States. CBP added five Global Entry kiosk locations in 2015.

Preclearance Expansion

Through CBP Preclearance operations, the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States are instead completed before departure at foreign airports. This not only reduces wait times, but allows the United States and our international partners to jointly identify and address threats at the earliest possible point, before arriving in the United States.

  • More than 17 million travelers were processed at one of CBP’s Preclearance locations in Canada, Ireland, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates in 2015, accounting for more than 15 percent of total international air travel this year.

In May, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the United States’ intent to enter into negotiations to expand air Preclearance operations to 10 new airports in nine foreign countries. The 10 airports identified for possible Preclearance locations include Brussels Airport, Belgium; Punta Cana Airport, Dominican Republic; Narita International Airport, Japan; Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands; Oslo Airport, Norway; Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain; Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden; Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey; London Heathrow Airport; and Manchester Airport, both in the United Kingdom.  In 2015, nearly 20 million passengers traveled to the United States from these 10 airports. CBP expects to sign new air Preclearance agreements in FY 2016.  The first new Preclearance airport is expected to begin processing flights within 18 months after the first agreement is signed. 

Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Supports Economic Prosperity

CBP processed more than $2.4 trillion in imports in FY 2015, while enforcing U.S. trade laws that protect the nation’s economy and the health and safety of the American public. CBP also processed approximately 33 million imports (entries) and collected approximately $46 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees, which is the highest amount collected in the last five years.

  • Special programs and Free Trade Agreements represented approximately 27 percent of total U.S. imports, by value, with the North American Free Trade Agreement leading the way.
  • Duty collection remains a CBP priority and the agency collected more than $37 billion in duties in FY 2015, an increase of 6.6 percent from FY 2014.
  • CBP processed more than $1.5 trillion worth of U.S. exported goods and more than 26.3 million imported cargo containers through the nation’s ports of entry, an increase of 2.7 percent from FY 2014.

Protecting Americans from Unsafe Imports

As a multiagency fusion center, the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC) targets commercial shipments that pose a threat to the health and safety of American consumers.  CTAC is composed of 11 federal government agencies who have a shared interest in the prevention, preemption, deterrence and investigation of violations of importation laws that affect U.S. interest in the import safety environment. In FY 2015, CTAC initiated 368 seizures of unsafe imported products with a gross Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24 million. This represents a 107 percent increase in the number of CTAC-initiated seizures over the previous year.

Protecting America’s Domestic Industries

Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) is an enforcement priority for CBP.  In FY 2015, $10.1 billion of imported goods were subject to AD/CVD, and CBP collected $1.2 billion in AD/CVD deposits. CBP also levied 18 monetary penalties totaling over $60 million on importers for fraud, gross negligence, and negligence for AD/CVD violations under 19 U.S.C. § 1592. CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized shipments with a domestic value of more than $5 million for violations of AD/CVD.  In addition, 92 CBP audits of importers of AD/CVD commodities identified $69 million in AD/CVD discrepancies with $7 million collected to date. 

Modernizing Trade Systems

In FY 2015, CBP enhanced several elements of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the import/export system that will ultimately allow businesses to electronically transmit all import and export data required by the U.S. government. Consistent with Executive Order 13659: “Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses,” ACE is streamlining trade for industry and government by replacing paper-based processing and legacy system requirements with faster, more modernized, and more cost-effective electronic submissions. This past year: 

  • The percentage of core manifest processing capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 78 to 100 percent.
    • The final mode of transportation, air, was incorporated into ACE, providing a common platform for all electronic import manifests
  • The percentage of core cargo release capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 68 to 90 percent.
    • ACE cargo release processing was expanded to all CBP ports for all modes of transportation.
  • The percentage of core post release capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 61 to 82 percent.
    • Electronic bond capabilities were deployed in ACE—which allow electronic filing and processing of single transaction and continuous bonds—streamlining a process that has historically been entirely manual and paper-based. Time for processing these bonds has been reduced in many cases from days to minutes.
  • The percentage of core export capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 59 to 93 percent.
    • CBP, working with the Census Bureau, has integrated AESDirect into ACE, thereby eliminating the need to maintain two data collection systems for exports—increasing efficiencies, streamlining trade and reducing costs. 
  • The percentage of core Partner Government Agency (PGA) capabilities deployed in ACE increased from 57 to 86 percent.
    • CBP continued work to integrate requirements for CBP and 15 key PGAs into ACE.  These PGAs have requirements that must be integrated into ACE before electronic filings become mandatory in ACE. 

CBP will continue its partnerships with industry and Partner Government Agencies in FY 2016 to realize full ACE implementation by December 2016.

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