PRECLEARANCE AUTHORIZATION ACT BECOMES LAW
May 5, 2016
The Preclearance Authorization Act of 2015 (PAA) was passed into law on February 24, 2016 as part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA). The PAA requires officials at the U.S. Departments of State (DOS) and Homeland Security (DHS) to work together to prevent terrorist attacks and other security risks from entering into the U.S. The bill also requires Congressional approval of proposed expansions of preclearance facilities abroad not less than 60 days before an agreement with a foreign government operations enters into force. Congress must evaluate the impact such expansion will have on legitimate trade and travel, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as anticipated homeland security benefits.
Before Congressional approval of preclearance operation expansions can be given, Congress must review the anticipated funding sources, as well as perform a homeland security assessment for the country in which preclearance operations are to be established. Under the PAA, Congress may only grant approval if at least one U.S. passenger carrier operates at the proposed site, and if U.S. passenger carriers wishing to participate in preclearance operations are provided comparable access to non-U.S. passenger carriers operating at the same site. Before preclearance operations may be approved, Congress must produce a report certifying that CBP consulted with stakeholders, including providers of commercial air service to the U.S., employees of such providers, security experts, and any other parties the Secretary of Homeland Security deems appropriate.