By Sandra Dibble The San Diego Union-Tribune. TIJUANA — Setting a precedent for the U.S.-Mexico border, customs agents from both countries are working side-by-side for the first time to inspect northbound shipments of strawberries, tomatoes, green onions, limes and other Mexican produce headed for the United States.

Located just south of the border fence in Otay Mesa, adjacent to the U.S. commercial port of entry, the new pre-inspection facility was formally opened Tuesday. Though initially a six-month pilot program, U.S. and Mexican authorities are hoping that it will expand and become permanent, as well as serve as a model for future border crossings.

The Otay Mesa pre-inspection facility is the first to open in Mexico since a modification of the country’s firearms law last year allowed foreign customs and immigration officers to carry weapons while performing their jobs in the country.

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