U.S. and Mexican authorities are preparing for the opening of a customs inspections station in Tijuana that will allow U.S. officers for the first time to screen commercial shipments on Mexican soil before they reach the border.

The facility, built by the Mexican federal government, would have officers from both countries operating out of the same compound near the Otay Mesa border crossing. The aim of the pilot program is to speed up the processing of certain produce items — and thus improve the bottom line for businesses.

Visitors who have toured the installation — located by the border fence — said it includes a laboratory, rooms for cold storage and state-of-the-art inspection equipment. They have been told that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers would enter and exit directly from the United States through a secured road. They also said the site is ready to open once Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s new president, and the Obama administration give the final go-ahead.

U.S. federal authorities have refrained from public comment about the project, saying protocol dictates that they make a joint announcement with their Mexican counterparts. Mexican authorities could not be reached this week.

via U.S., Mexico to open joint inspection stations Page 1 of 2 | UTSanDiego.com.