all are familiar with the Chinese proverb “may you live
in interesting times.” Certainly, for the international
trade community, 2003 is shaping up to be interesting year.
now, many of you are aware of Customs’ new 24-hour manifest
rule for containerized ocean cargo (see our newsletter of February 3, 2003).
The Customs Service, however, has not stopped there. In January
of this year, it held a series of town hall type meetings in Washington
D.C., to present ideas on obtaining shipment information for other
modes of international transportation earlier than currently required.
Customs notes that it needs this information sooner, so as to
allow it time to analyze the data, and if necessary, prevent the
loading of a suspect shipment.
For Airfreight Destined To the U.S.
a strawman proposal released January 14th, Customs notes that
current regulations in the vessel environment require that the
cargo declarations be submitted 24 hours prior to lading. Because
of the time-sensitive nature of the air freight business, Customs
proposes that the data be supplied 8 hours prior to lading for
U.S. inbound courier shipments and 12 hours prior to lading for
other U.S. inbound shipments. All air carriers will be required
to participate in AAMS at all U.S. ports at which they have direct
arrivals. Customs will notify the parties via the AAMS with messages
stating whether: (1) certain shipments must be held for security
purposes or (2) the data provided is insufficient to make a determination
and that the party must provide better data for Customs to analyze.
For Airfreight Exiting the U.S.
also has a strawman proposal to increase scrutiny of exports using
commercial airfreight (both air carriers and air couriers). Under
the proposal, Customs would require that all air cargo information
for exports be electronically reported to Customs 24 hours prior
to loading the cargo for shipment. Export data consists of
both commodity information and manifest information. During the
strawman meeting, there was a discussion of the possibility of
reducing the $2,500 SED/AES exemption-filing requirement, and
re-imposing the need for SED/AES filings on shipments to Canada.
Justification for these changes is based on a perceived need of
the enforcement community to prevent the export of dual-use products
to terrorists and other potential adversaries.
proposals for truck and rail, both inbound and outbound, may be
found by visiting Customs web page on the submission
of advanced electronic information.
According to Customs, the strawman proposals are a starting point
to facilitate discussion with the trade community. The
U.S. Customs Service is seeking feedback not only on these proposals,
but also alternative recommendations from the trade, and has have
extended the comment period until the close of business on February
has requested that comments be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
by close of business February 18, 2003. To
assist Customs with reviewing your comments, in the subject line
of your email please state the specific mode of transportation
- air, truck, rail, or sea - and specify whether Inbound or Outbound.
carriers and other effected parties may also wish to contact their
trade associations and government representative regarding the
R. Tuttle, III, is an attorney with the Law Offices of George
R. Tuttle in San Francisco. The information in this article
is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal
advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect
to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered such.