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Chapter 1 Background Context On a typical day in the United States, close to 180,000 passengers arrive at international air- ports and are processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to determine their valid- ity to enter the United States. While in the Federal Inspection Service (FIS) area, all travelers must reclaim their checked baggage before exiting. However, more than 60,000 of those passen- gers have onward connecting flights. Currently, a number of airlines and airports operate bag- gage recheck facilities adjacent to the FIS area to enable connecting passengers to immediately drop off their bags before continuing to their connecting flight. These facilities are provided by airports and/or airlines as a customer service function and enable the bags to be re-entered into the system at the earliest possible time. The multiple handling of bags is cited by passengers as a customer service nuisance, requires additional space for airports, represents an additional operational cost for airlines, and increases the probability of mishandled bags. For CBP, how- ever, the ability to manage risk from contraband or terrorist materials within bags is cited as being imperative to protect the United States from threats. The net result is a system that is not scalable to the projected future growth of international traffic. The recheck process currently affects approximately 31 million bags annually in the United States. Mishandling of transfer baggage accounted for approximately 51 percent of miss- ing bags in 2010 (2). Based on renewed growth and delivery of new international air services, this volume could easily increase to 60 million bags per year by 2025. While overall improvements are achieved by improved baggage handling systems, the recheck process adversely affects the effectiveness of the U.S. international arrivals processes. What Mandates Baggage Recheck? In interviews conducted with stakeholders, and in discussions at airport study sites, it was appar- ent that there was some degree of confusion as to whether CBP mandates the baggage recheck process. In reviewing facility design criteria, there is no specific "mandate" by CBP for baggage recheck stations; the link is instead indirect through the way CBP administers risk management. CBP regulations (Title 19 162.6) specify that baggage is "liable to inspection and search by a customs officer." To satisfy this regulation, the CBP Airport Technical Design Standards (ATDS) Section 2.7 specifies, "Following a determination of admissibility by CBP, passengers proceed to the baggage claim where the passengers claim and retrieve their baggage." Recheck facility provision is entirely at the discretion of the carrier or airport. The primary means of meeting this process design is through a baggage carousel within the FIS area. International connecting passengers pick up checked bags, complete the CBP process, and then exit the CBP facility. 5