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United States-Mexico Land Ports of Entry Emissions and Border Wait-Time White Paper and Analysis Template

6.0 Glossary of Port of Entry Terms

Many of definitions in this section have been adapted from the abbreviated U.S. Land Port of Entry Design Guide (GSA (2000) U.S. Land Port of Entry Design Guide.).

Aduanas – The customs agency for Mexico.

Border Station – Also known as "Port" or "Land Port of Entry."

Bus Inspection – Drop-off and lobby area for inspection of passengers and luggage transported by commercial bus line.

Bus Plaza – The area where buses off-load passengers for inspection.

Bus Lobby – The area where bus passengers go through a primary inspection turnstile and a secondary inspection.

Christmas Tree – The branch-like arrangement of lanes often used in the secondary inspection area.

Commercial – Vehicular traffic carrying merchandise for resale.

Commercial Building – Also known as Cargo Building – A building within the commercial inspection area to house staff and operations.

Commercial Dock – A raised platform, typically enclosed or protected by a canopy depending on the climate, where trucks unload their cargo for physical inspection.

Commercial Inspection – Inspection of commercial vehicles for control of material goods, collection of duties and confiscation of contraband.

Commercial Lot – The area in a port for secondary inspection of commercial vehicles.

Commercial Primary Inspection Area – The area that performs the initial screening inspection of commercial vehicular traffic (primarily trucks) entering the U.S.

Commercial Secondary Inspection Area – Areas including the commercial lot, commercial dock, commercial building, truck scale, empty vehicle inspection, truck radiographic inspection, bulk material inspection, and APHIS PPQ and APHIS VS facilities for more thorough examination of the contents of commercial vehicles.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – The Department of Homeland Security agency responsible for securing the borders of the United States while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel.

Customs Brokers – Brokers assist importers with the processing of commercial shipments. Acting as agents for the shipper, they coordinate the preparation of documents, make fee payments, and unload goods for inspection.

Dedicated Commuter Lanes (DCL) – A program providing expedited inspection and clearance through primary inspection for enrollees.

Egal – Commercial inspection that produces x-ray type images of tankers, commercial trucks, sea and air containers, and other vehicles.

Exit Control Booth – A booth at the exit point from the commercial inspection area where inspectors ensure that vehicles leaving the area have passed inspection.

FAST Lane – Free and Secure Trade program lane which requires the driver, vehicle, and cargo be precleared for entry into the United States through the Free and Secure Trade program.

FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Gantry – Commercial inspection that employs gamma ray technology to produce x-ray type images of tankers, commercial trucks, sea and air containers, and other vehicles.

Impoundment Lot – A fenced lot for storing vehicles and other large items that have been seized by Customs Agents and CBP Inspectors.

Inbound Traffic – Traffic entering the United States from a foreign country.

Land Port of Entry – A Land Port of Entry is the facility that provides for the controlled entry into or departure from the United States for persons and materials arriving as commercial, noncommercial, pedestrian, or rail traffic.

LPR – License Place Readers.

Non-Commercial – Passenger and bus vehicle traffic not carrying merchandise for resale or use in manufacturing.

Non-Commercial Primary Vehicle Inspection Area – The area that performs the initial screening inspection of non-commercial vehicular traffic (primarily automobiles) entering the U.S.

Non-Commercial Secondary Vehicle Inspection Area – The area provided to allow for more detailed and thorough inspection of traffic which did not clear the primary inspection area.

Outbound Inspection – CBP program for inspecting and controlling the export of high-technology goods, firearms, licensable commodities, currency, and stolen vehicles.

Pedestrians – Individuals walking into the United States. There is significantly more volume of pedestrian traffic on the U.S.-Mexico border than on the U.S.-Canada border.

Pedestrian Primary Inspection – The turnstile and counter area where the initial screening inspection of pedestrians is performed.

Pedestrian Secondary Inspection – The area where a more thorough inspection of pedestrians and their belongings is performed.

Port or Port of Entry (POE) – (See Land Port of Entry.)

Pre-Access Commuter Entry (PACE) – A sticker-based DCL providing expedited entry and clearance through primary inspection.

Pre-Arrival Processing (PAP) – A USCS commercial vehicle pre-inspection program that allows for presubmittal of manifest and invoices which can be preclassified and directly recalled by computer systems at the primary inspection.

Primary Inspection – The initial encounter and screening at a Port, either of non-commercial (vehicular primary), pedestrian, commercial, or bus traffic.

Pylon Scanner – Commercial inspection to produce x-ray type images of tankers, commercial trucks, sea and air containers, and other vehicles for contraband.

Ready Lane – A POV entry lane to the United States for vehicles whose occupants have WHTI-compliant, RFID-enabled cards approved by the Department of Homeland Security compliant documents.

Referral Parking – Parking by the main building to accommodate foreign visitors who have business to conduct at the port, but do not intend to enter the U.S.

Secondary Building – A small building located in the secondary inspection area that provides office space and separate restroom facilities for staff and visitors.

Secretariat of Communication and Transportation (SCT) – Mexican national level department of transportation.

Secondary Inspection – A more thorough inspection, often including a search of the person and/or vehicle. Determination for the inspection can be based upon suspicion or simply a random sampling of individuals.

Secretaria De Medio Ambiente Y Recursos Naturales (Semarnat) – Mexico's national environmental protection agency.

Secured Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) – Transponder-based DCL program providing expedited inspection and clearance through primary inspection.

USDA – United States Department of Agriculture.

VACIS – Commercial inspection that employs gamma ray technology to produce x-ray type images of tankers, commercial trucks, sea and air containers, and other vehicles.

Updated: 10/20/2015
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