U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued the following press release on September 14, 2011:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida– U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently announced a Pilot Program that releases inspected cargo in real-time via smartphone technology. Previously, CBP officers and agriculture specialists conducted inspections and the subsequent release of cargo was delayed until field personnel returned to the office site to enter inspection results into CBP data systems. Enforcement Link to Mobile Operations – Cargo (ELMOcargo) accesses cargo targeting data and permits field personnel to release the cargo in real-time, at the conclusion of the inspection. ELMOcargo significantly decreases the time an importer has to wait for cargo that has been cleared.
ELMOcargo is being piloted at Port Everglades, Fla., the twelfth busiest sea container port in the United States.
Vernon Foret, director, Miami Field Office, Office of Field Operations, commented, “This new technology will allow our officers to record cargo inspection results and clear the container for release faster, improving cargo-cycle time while continuing to secure our nation’s borders and beyond.”
ELMOcargo leverages CBP’s success with Automated Targeting System – Mobile (ATSm). Following the Christmas 2009 attempted terrorist attack on Northwest 253, CBP developed ATSm for Immigration Advisory Program (IAP) officers working at foreign airports. Working in close partnership with subject matter experts, the Office of Information and Technology developed ATSm to deliver targeting data to the IAP officers and allow for the reporting of inspection results.
ATSm evolved to United States border operations with the introduction of a scanning peripheral that attaches to the smartphone, allowing CBP officers and Border Patrol agents to scan the machine-readable zone on travel documents and access CBP enforcement systems. Since its introduction in September 2010, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents have interdicted illegal aliens, narcotics, unreported currency and weapons using ATSm.
ELMOcargo and ATSm are part of CBP’s overall mobile technology initiative to deliver targeting data to CBP field personnel in real-time where it is needed.