NBAA Joins Call for Adequate U.S. Customs Staffing

 - January 15, 2013, 3:40 PM

NBAA has joined more than 50 groups and organizations in petitioning the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that President Obama’s budget request includes adequate funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffing at U.S. ports of entry. In a joint letter sent on Thursday to OMB acting director Jeffrey Zients, the signatories–which include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and city and state chamber groups–said understaffing at ports “increases wait times, costs industry billions and discourages business and leisure travelers from visiting the U.S.”

The crux of the matter is not the top-line budget allotment, but a five-year trend where a “disproportionate amount of funding has been designated for increasing staffing of border patrol officers between the ports of entry at the expense of staffing for customs officers who facilitate trade and travel at the ports.” The groups also recommended that the CBP continues “to focus on ways that it can utilize its current staff more effectively, through expanding trusted-traveler programs, aggressively implementing its trade transformation agenda and evaluating additional methods for increasing efficiency at the ports.”