Customs changes AES filing rules for vessel operators
Liner carriers that voluntarily submit their outbound manifest by automated means will need to submit paper shipping documents to the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection while the agency reviews its electronic system for receiving such information, according to a recent Customs notice.
The agency sent a letter earlier this month to vessel operators that Customs is undertaking a comprehensive, six-month review of the Automated Export System's Vessel Transportation Module, which essentially collects outbound transportation information Customs uses for enforcing export restrictions. During that time, participating carriers and new applicants will be required to file both paper and automated manifests.
The study will focus on setting performance standards for carriers to transmit the data in a timely, approved fashion, as well as auditing rules for checking compliance before a carrier gets permission to access the Vessel Transportation Module. Once a carrier meets the criteria for system capability and data handling procedures it will be allowed to submit paperless manifests.
Customs told shipping lines the move will bring export manifest procedures in line with trade act requirements for electronic collection of inbound and outbound cargo information even though Customs is using data from the shipper's export declaration instead of the automated vessel system to target illegal exports and smuggled goods.