AAEI WANTS CUSTOMS TO WITHDRAW ADVANCE MANIFEST PROPOSAL
The Association of American Exporters and Importers said U.S. Customs should withdraw its proposal requiring electronic transmissions of vessel manifests 24 hours prior to loading on a U.S.-bound ship.
AAEI said the notice of proposed rulemaking, which Customs posted on the Federal Register Aug. 8, would add costs and delay movement of goods. Additionally, AAEI said the proposal would significantly increase the risk for cargo to theft or tampering, should certain vessels be denied clearance prior to departure. AAEI said that, in this scenario, “a container at rest is a container at risk.”
AAEI added that Customs put forth the proposal in a “premature” manner. AAEI said such a move does not comport with Section 343 of the Trade Act of 2002, and the agency should not promulgate rulings on the matter of the section without consideration of the process set forth in the law.
“We respectfully request that the NPRM be withdrawn, and that any further proposals be drafted in accordance with Section 343,” wrote John Simpson, president of AAEI.
AAEI added that the proposal may be infeasible in ports serving as transshipment ports, where small vessels feed into larger ones prior to departure. “It is simply not practical to remove the containers from the feeder vessels and store them for several days before they are loaded onto the larger vessels,” AAEI said.
AAEI added the proposal would require carriers to report information unavailable to them, and that the dispersal of such information could avail the contents to pilferage and tampering should the wrong parties receive such information. “Including this information in insecure shipping documents facilitates the work not of mere thieves, but of terrorists,” AAEI said.