On Wednesday (Nov. 28), the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) addressed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies requesting port authorities to build and incur the costs of CBP staffing facilities at ports. In a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, AAPA expressed concern over CBP seeking ways to build new facilities, while there continues to be a shortage of CBP officers for maritime activities.

“CBP is requesting consolidated and custom-built facilities (according to CBP design specifications) for CBP personnel. From a port perspective, generally CBP staff already have adequate facilities and in most cases these facilities are occupied on non-revenue lease terms. Additionally, many ports are concerned about the continued shortage of CBP maritime staffing and would like to first better understand how staffing decisions are made and secondly, if the staffing decisions are dictating the request for new CBP facilities,” the letter stated.

“CBP does not allow ports to employ common practices ports use to control costs when building facilities for themselves and other tenants. CBP’s requests often result in expensive, overbuilt facilities,” AAPA added in the letter. “What is the statutory authority for requesting a new CBP facility to be funded by an entity other than the federal government?”