Binational Border Service Centers (BBSC) in the Andean Community


HAVING SEEN: Chapter XI of the Cartagena Agreement, the Act of Cartagena, the Act of Lima, Decision 271 and its amendments, Chapter XIII of Decision 398, and Chapter XIV of Decision 399, Decision 459, and General Secretariat Proposal 50;


The Cartagena Agreement states that the Member Countries shall work together to take better advantage of their physical space by building up the infrastructure and services that are needed for the Subregion�s economic integration;

The establishment of the Andean Common Market and the execution of a Community Border Integration and Development Policy are included in the Act of Cartagena issued by the Eleventh Andean Presidential Council among the priority tasks for advancing the integration process;

The Act of Lima of the Twelfth Andean Presidential Council provides for the establishment of Binational Border Service Centers under the broader subject of Border Integration and Development, as part of the action program for the formation of the Common Market;

The Community Border Integration and Development Policy, adopted through Decision 459 , establishes as specific objectives, among others, to facilitate the free circulation of persons, goods, capital, and services over the border crossings by means of Community efforts in the area of physical infrastructure, as well as to harmonize the provisions and legislation of the Member Countries aimed at boosting the economic development of the border regions and improving the quality of life of their inhabitants;

The growing competitiveness of Subregional and regional trade in goods and services requires the progressive use of sole and simultaneous administrative and operational procedures at the border crossings of the Member Countries to simplify and facilitate the flow of persons, goods, and vehicles and to complement the efforts of the National Border Service Centers (NBSC);

The High-Level Working Group for Border Integration and Development, created by Decision 459 , at its Fourth Meeting considered the Draft Decision on Binational Border Service Centers (BBSCs) and recommended its approval because of the importance of these Centers for supporting the Andean integration process in general and border development and integration in particular;


To adopt the following system for the Andean Community Binational Border Service Centers:



Article 1.- For purposes of this Decision,

Binational Border Service Center (BBSC) is the set of facilities that are situated in a sector of the territory of a Member Country or of two neighboring Member Countries adjacent to a border crossing that includes access routes and the structures, equipment, and furnishings that are necessary to provide integrated control services for the flow of persons, baggage, goods, and vehicles, and where complementary facilitation and other user services are available.

A BBSC may be located at the entry or departure point, by road, of the territory of one Member Country into or from that of another Member Country or a third country, if so agreed by the parties involved.

Integrated control is the verification and supervision of the legal conditions for the entry or departure of persons, baggage, goods, and vehicles performed jointly at the Binational Border Service Centers by competent national officials appointed by the Country of Departure and the Country of Entry.

Appointed competent national officials are the personnel, irrespective of their category, appointed by the Country of Departure or the Country of Entry to perform their duties at the BBSCs.

Facilities are the immovable and movable property located in the BBSCs and intended for use in the services that are provided there.

Board of Administrators is the body that is responsible for the administrative and operational coordination of the BBSC to facilitate its appropriate operation, with a membership to be decided by common accord of the two countries involved.

Member Country is a country located belonging to the Andean Community.

Country of Departure is the Andean Community Member Country where the people, baggage, goods, and vehicles originate or from which they come and whose appointed national officials start the integrated control in the BBSCs.

Country of Entry is the Andean Community Member Country entered by the persons, baggage, goods, and vehicles, whose appointed competent national officials continue and complete the integrated control in the BBSCs.

Border Crossing is the place where the Country of Departure and the Country of Entry are linked up by road, agreed upon and authorized by those countries for the entry and departure of persons, baggage, goods, and vehicles.

Basic Services are the international road transportation services offered by the competent national bodies, which are essential for the transit of people, baggage, goods, and vehicles, from the Country of Departure to the Country of Entry.

Complementary Services are the services offered to the persons, crew members, vehicles, baggage, and goods while they are in the BBSC and that are not a requirement for transit from the Country of Departure to the Country of Entry.



Article 2.- The general purpose of this Decision is to promote the establishment of Binational Border Service Centers in the Andean Community Member Countries and to approve a framework of general provisions for their development and operation in order to apply integrated control at those centers.

Article 3.- The specific purposes of this Decision are:
To institute an efficient and integrated system of management and control of the two-way traffic that is channeled over the border crossings;

To avoid duplication of formalities and registration of persons, baggage, goods, and vehicles entering or leaving the Member Countries by road;

To register the information on the flow of people, baggage, goods, and vehicles in a uniform and systematized way by computer at the BBSCs in order to have timely and reliable statistics;

To promote the direct international transportation of persons and goods by road by facilitating the rapid flow of people, baggage, goods, and vehicles over the border crossings through the application of procedures that avoid delays, as well as loss of or damage to baggage and goods;

To establish a continuing system of border information and training for officials, providers of complementary services, and users, with regard to the provisions comprising the Andean Community�s body of law and the binational provisions that regulate the flow of people, baggage, goods, and vehicles over the border crossings, including the publication of binational public information handbooks;

Any others that the Member Countries may establish binationally.



Article 4.- Andean Community Member Countries may establish such BBSCs as they deem necessary, in keeping with the characteristics and unique features of their respective border crossings. Both the establishment, and the transfer, modification, or elimination of those Centers shall be effected through Specific Arrangements between Member States and shall be reported to the Andean Community General Secretariat for registry and publication in the Official Gazette of the Cartagena Agreement no later than 10 days after they become effective.

The specific arrangements to which this article refers are a part of the Andean body of law of the Cartagena Agreement, as established in article 1 e) of the Treaty Establishing the Court of Justice.

Article 5.- The Specific Arrangements for the establishment of each BBSC shall stipulate the provisions that shall regulate the legal aspects, including jurisdiction and competence, as well as the economic and financial, administrative, operational and any other aspects that may be necessary for their functioning.



Article 6.- BBSCs may be located:

a) Entirely within the territory of a country adjacent to a border crossing; or

b) On both sides of the border, adjacent to the crossing �in other words, some facilities would be situated in the territory of one country and others in the territory of the other.

Article 7.- BBSCs shall be regulated by this Decision, complementary and regulatory provisions, the Specific Arrangements to which Articles 4 and 5 above refer, and such provisions as the Board of Administrators referred to in Article 13 may issue, provided that they are in keeping with this Decision.

Article 8.- Integrated control of BBSCs shall involve the momentary stoppage of the flow of people, baggage, goods, and vehicles a single time only and shall employ harmonized or compatible administrative and operational procedures that shall be progressively unified in single procedures.
Until such time as the procedures are one and the same, the control shall be effected sequentially, starting with the control for which the competent officials of the Country of Departure are responsible and continuing with the control by officials of the Country of Entry. As the procedures are unified, the controls shall be carried out simultaneously by the officials of both the Countries of Departure and of Entry.

In no case may the control of the Country of Entry start before the appointed competent national officials of the Country of Departure have concluded their control.

Article 9.- Minimum recommended facilities.- Without prejudice to the topographic and environmental characteristics of the territory intended for the operation of a BBSC, its architectural plans, or the alternative locations agreed upon by the Member Countries pursuant to the preceding Article, a BBSC should contain at least the following elements, insofar as possible:

Access routes;
An enclosing wall or fence;
Administrative building(s);
Warehouses or storage areas with their respective roads, platforms, and equipment for moving cargo;
Areas for the physical inspection of goods;
Parking area(s) for international passenger and cargo transport vehicles with differentiated areas for those that are in international customs transit;
Vehicle fumigation area;
Laboratory for plant and animal health inspections;
Treatment and incineration area for products that fail to meet plant or animal health requirements; and
Area for such complementary services as may be deemed necessary.

Article 10.- Member Countries shall undertake the urban planning of the areas around BBSCs with a long-term approach to ensure that accesses are kept clear and traffic steady and to avoid their overcrowding, which could distort the purposes for which the BBSCs were established.

Article 11.- Member Countries that establish a BBSC shall encourage the installation of complementary services for users, either inside the perimeter of the Center or nearby; these should include, among others, safety and contingency, telecommunication, and medical first aid services, bank offices, restaurants, and hostels, and tourist information, transportation, and vehicle repair services.

These complementary services could be provided by private individuals or companies or operated by them under public franchises or other arrangements, as stipulated in the respective Specific Arrangement.

Article 12.- Member Countries that establish a BBSC may agree, through a Specific Arrangement, to license its construction and operation. If this option is chosen, the functions of the Board of Administrators shall be adjusted accordingly by keeping those responsibilities having to do with the coordination of the technical and functional aspects of the basic services and adding supervisory functions with regard to the work of the BBSC licensee.



Article 13.- A Board of Administrators consisting of competent national officials duly appointed by their respective countries shall be responsible for each BBSC.

The said Board of Administrators shall have the duties of identifying any measures that may be needed to comply with the objectives stipulated in Chapter II of this Decision and adopting the corresponding working program. It is also responsible, among other functions, for authorizing the service schedule, ensuring that the number of hours of service a day is in line with the real needs of the respective border crossings; harmonizing the working procedures of the basic services arranging formulas to cover payment of the services required for the BBSCs� operation; deciding upon the proposals and initiatives put forward by the private sector; and taking any other measure that shall help to remove obstacles to the uninterrupted traffic of persons, baggage, goods, and vehicles and to make the services offered by the BBSCs more efficient.

The Board of Administrators shall be governed by such provisions as the Countries of Entry and Departure may establish bilaterally, which shall provide information through the Andean Community General Secretariat to the High-Level Working Group for Border Integration and Development created by Decision 459 of the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers.

Article 14.- The Board of Administrators shall establish appropriate mechanisms to enable the private sector, user of the BBSC�s services, to participate actively in its meetings.

Article 15.- Member Countries that put a BBSC into operation shall inform each other through such mechanisms as the Specific Arrangements may establish, of the official list of competent national officials appointed to perform their duties at the BBSC, including the members of the Board of Administrators. Any change made in those official lists shall be likewise communicated.

Article 16.- Such competent national officials as the Member Countries establishing a BBSC may appoint shall give each other assistance in performing their duties in the said BBSC.



Article 17.- The Member Countries shall by mutual accord establish the alternatives for financing the studies, building the facilities, and acquiring the equipment and furnishings for the BBSCs.
The Andean Development Corporation (CAF) may, at the request of interested Member Countries, establish preferential terms for financing the studies and works of each BBSC.


Sole.- The Member Countries shall decide upon such mechanisms as they deem advisable for:
Drawing up the projects and establishing the procedures for approval of the corresponding Specific Arrangements needed to establish the BBSCs, in keeping with the unique features and characteristics of each border crossing;

Following up the cited procedure until the Specific Arrangements have been signed and ratified, if so required by the domestic legislation of the Member Countries; and

Once the respective BBSC has been established, setting up the temporary coordinating body until the Board of Administrators has fully assumed its functions.

The bordering Member Countries shall take the measures referred to in this Temporary Provision within a period of one hundred and eighty calendar days after this Decision enters into effect.

Signed in the city of Valencia, Venezuela on the twenty-second of June of two thousand and one.