Text: H.R.3488 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (07/09/2014)


113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 3488

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 9, 2014

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


AN ACT

To establish the conditions under which the Secretary of Homeland Security may establish preclearance facilities, conduct preclearance operations, and provide customs services outside the United States, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Preclearance Authorization Act of 2014”.

SEC. 2. Definition.

In this Act, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Finance of the Senate.

SEC. 3. Establishment of preclearance operations.

Pursuant to section 1629 of title 19, United States Code, and subject to section 5, the Secretary of Homeland Security may establish U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance operations in a foreign country to—

(1) prevent terrorists, instruments of terrorism, and other security threats from entering the United States;

(2) prevent inadmissible persons from entering the United States;

(3) ensure merchandise destined for the United States complies with applicable laws;

(4) ensure the prompt processing of persons eligible to travel to the United States; and

(5) accomplish such other objectives as the Secretary determines necessary to protect the United States.

SEC. 4. Notification and certification to Congress.

(a) Notification.—Not later than 180 days before entering into an agreement with the government of a foreign country to establish U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance operations in such foreign country, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees the following:

(1) A copy of the proposed agreement to establish such preclearance operations, including an identification of the foreign country with which U.S. Customs and Border Protection intends to enter into a preclearance agreement, and the location at which such preclearance operations will be conducted.

(2) An estimate of the date on which U.S. Customs and Border Protection intends to establish preclearance operations under such agreement.

(3) The anticipated funding sources for preclearance operations under such agreement, and other funding sources considered.

(4) An assessment of the impact such preclearance operations will have on legitimate trade and travel, including potential impacts on passengers traveling to the United States.

(5) A homeland security threat assessment for the country in which such preclearance operations are to be established.

(6) An assessment of the impacts such preclearance operations will have on U.S. Customs and Border Protection domestic port of entry staffing.

(7) Information on potential economic, competitive, and job impacts on United States air carriers associated with establishing such preclearance operations.

(8) Information on the anticipated homeland security benefits associated with establishing such preclearance operations.

(9) Information on potential security vulnerabilities associated with commencing such preclearance operations, and mitigation plans to address such potential security vulnerabilities.

(10) A U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffing model for such preclearance operations, and plans for how such positions would be filled.

(11) Information on the anticipated costs over the next five fiscal years associated with commencing such preclearance operations.

(12) A copy of the agreement referred to in subsection (a) of section 5.

(13) Other factors that the Secretary of Homeland Security determines to be necessary for Congress to comprehensively assess the appropriateness of commencing such preclearance operations.

(b) Certifications relating to preclearance operations established at airports.—In the case of an airport, in addition to the notification requirements under subsection (a), not later than 90 days before entering into an agreement with the government of a foreign country to establish U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance operations at an airport in such foreign country, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees the following:

(1) A certification that preclearance operations under such preclearance agreement would provide homeland security benefits to the United States.

(2) A certification that preclearance operations within such foreign country will be established under such agreement only if—

(A) at least one United States passenger carrier operates at such airport; and

(B) the access of all United States passenger carriers to such preclearance operations is the same as the access of any non-United States passenger carrier.

(3) A certification that the Secretary of Homeland Security has considered alternative options to preclearance operations and has determined that such options are not the most effective means of achieving the objectives specified in section 3.

(4) A certification that the establishment of preclearance operations in such foreign country will not significantly increase customs processing times at United States airports.

(5) An explanation of other objectives that will be served by the establishment of preclearance operations in such foreign country.

(6) A certification that representatives from U.S. Customs and Border Protection consulted publically with interested parties, including providers of commercial air service in the United States, employees of such providers, security experts, and such other parties as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, before entering into such an agreement with such foreign government.

(7) A report detailing the basis for the certifications referred to in paragraphs (1) through (6).

(c) Modification of existing agreements.—Not later than 30 days before substantially modifying a preclearance agreement with the government of a foreign country in effect as of the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees a copy of the proposed agreement, as modified, and the justification for such modification.

(d) Remediation plan.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall monthly measure the average customs processing time to enter the 25 United States airports that support the highest volume of international travel (as determined by available Federal passenger data) and provide to the appropriate congressional committees such measurements.

(2) ASSESSMENT.—Based on the measurements described in paragraph (1), the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall quarterly assess whether the average customs processing time referred to in such paragraph significantly exceeds the average customs processing time to enter the United States through a prclearance operation.

(3) SUBMISSION.—Based on the assessment conducted under paragraph (2), if the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines that the average customs processing time referred to in paragraph (1) significantly exceeds the average customs processing time to enter the United States through a preclearance operation described in paragraph (2), the Commissioner shall, not later than 60 days after making such determination, provide to the appropriate congressional committees a remediation plan for reducing such average customs processing time referred to in paragraph (1).

(4) IMPLEMENTATION.—Not later than 30 days after submitting the remediation plan referred to in paragraph (3), the Commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection shall implement those portions of such plan that can be carried out using existing resources, excluding the transfer of personnel.

(5) SUSPENSION.—If the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not submit the remediation plan referred to in paragraph (3) within 60 days in accordance with such paragraph, the Commissioner may not, until such time as such remediation plan is submitted, conduct any negotiations relating to preclearance operations at an airport in any country or commence any such preclearance operations.

(6) STAKEHOLDER RECOMMENDATIONS.—The remediation plan described in paragraph (3) shall consider recommendations solicited from relevant stakeholders.

(e) Classified report.—The assessment required pursuant to subsection (a)(5) and the report required pursuant to subsection (b)(7) may be submitted in classified form if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that such is appropriate.

SEC. 5. Aviation security screening at preclearance airports.

(a) Aviation security standards agreement.—Prior to the commencement of preclearance operations at an airport in a foreign country under this Act, the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall enter into an agreement with the government of such foreign country that delineates and requires the adoption of aviation security screening standards that are determined by the Administrator to be comparable to those of the United States.

(b) Aviation security rescreening.—If the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration determines that the government of a foreign country has not maintained security standards and protocols comparable to those of the United States at airports at which preclearance operations have been established in accordance with an agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (a), the Administrator shall require the rescreening in the United States by the Transportation Security Administration of passengers and their property before such passengers may deplane into sterile areas of airports in the United States.

(c) Selectees.—Any passenger who is determined to be a selectee based on a check against a terrorist watch list and arrives on a flight originating from a foreign airport at which preclearance operations have been established in accordance with an agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (a), shall be required to undergo security rescreening by the Transportation Security Administration before being permitted to board a domestic flight in the United States.

SEC. 6. Lost and stolen passports.

The Secretary of Homeland Security may not enter into or renew an agreement with the government of a foreign country to establish or maintain U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance operations at an airport in such foreign country unless such government certifies—

(1) that it routinely submits information about lost and stolen passports of its citizens and nationals to INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Document database; or

(2) makes available to the United States Government such information through another comparable means of reporting.

SEC. 7. Effective date.

Except for subsection (c) of section 4, this Act shall apply only to the establishment of preclearance operations in a foreign country in which no preclearance operations have been established as of the date of the enactment of this Act.

Passed the House of Representatives July 8, 2014.

Attest: karen l. haas,   
Clerk