• DTS.USA
    5.843
    -0.004
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.840
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • NTID.USA
    2.830
    -0.070
    -2.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.070
    -3.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.000
    0.250
    3.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,654.830
    -87.960
    -0.7%
  • DTS.USA
    5.843
    -0.004
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.840
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • NTID.USA
    2.830
    -0.070
    -2.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.070
    -3.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    8.000
    0.250
    3.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,654.830
    -87.960
    -0.7%
American Shipper

CBP rolls out ‘Aqualane’ to more U.S. ports

A new component of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism gives eligible ocean carriers the ability to start unloading without having to wait for U.S. Customs officers to clear the vessel.

   Ocean carriers that meet eligibility criteria for cargo security can receive privileges for expedited unloading at a half dozen more U.S. ports under phase two of an updated version of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) that went into effect this month.
   The expansion of C-TPAT benefits is designed to speed up the flow of commerce to make trade more economical, especially for container lines.
   C-TPAT is a voluntary program that offers the promise of fewer container inspections for participating importers that have implemented security controls throughout their supply chain and use logistics partners that adhere to their security plan. The new component of the trusted trader program, dubbed “Aqualane,” is designed to provide a benefit to ocean carriers that follow best practices for securing their conveyances and cargo, in the same way the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lane program exists to speed up clearance of commercial vehicles carrying low-risk C-TPAT shipments at land borders. Participation in FAST requires that manufacturers, carriers, drivers and importers be certified under C-TPAT. CBP routinely conducts on-site visits to domestic and foreign C-TPAT member facilities to evaluate and validate their supply chain security measures.
   More than 11,400 companies are certified C-TPAT members, including about 85 sea carriers.
   The Aqualane program was already running at the ports of Baltimore, Port Everglades, New Orleans and Oakland.
   In the second phase, carriers calling at the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, New York-New Jersey, Savannah, Miami and Seattle/Tacoma are now also able to unload cargo prior to CBP officers meeting the vessel if they are C-TPAT members, comply with Importer Security Filing requirements for transmitting the stowage plan and container status messages, comply with agriculture requirements for submitting all required certificates and crew members remain onboard until formal CBP processing. Also, all containers must be delivered to a C-TPAT certified terminal and the unloading must be pre-approved by the CBP port director once the vessel has provided 24-hour advance notice of arrival.
   Required agriculture certificates include pre-departure certification that the vessel is free of Asian Gypsy Moth for vessels departing affected Asian ports during the high-risk season.
   Beginning Dec. 15, Aqualane will expand to the ports of Charleston, Houston, Jacksonville, Honolulu, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Wilmington (Del.), Wilmington (N.C.), Boston and San Juan, with full implementation for the entire nation phased in by February, according to a Customs and Border Protection bulletin posted online and shared with the trade community.
   CBP said the expedited clearance process for sea carriers was developed in partnership with the ocean carrier industry and the private sector experts on the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee.
   Carriers can save money by being able to more precisely predict dock labor scheduling and costs so longshoremen aren’t paid to wait around until the all-clear signal is given. Other cost savings will come in the form of lower fuel savings and dockage fees from faster unlading and turnaround times. In addition, ships will be able to get to sea faster, where they earn revenue.