Binational Border Service Centers (BBSC) in the
THE ANDEAN COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
ON THE PURPOSES
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
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
Any others that the Member Countries may establish binationally.
ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BBSCs
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
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
ON THE GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE OPERATION OF THE BBSCs
BBSCs may be located:
a) Entirely within the territory of a country adjacent to a border crossing;
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
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:
An enclosing wall or fence;
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
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.
ON THE INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF THE BBSCs
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
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.
FINANCING OF THE BBSCs
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
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
Once the respective BBSC has been established, setting up the temporary
coordinating body until the Board of Administrators has fully assumed its
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.