NVOS WANT TO PROVIDE MANIFEST DATA ELECTRONICALLY TO U.S. CUSTOMS
Non-vessel-operating common carriers are calling for the ability to file their manifest data directly to Customs’ Automated Manifest System, to ensure that their import data is protected and to meet Congress’ call for increased ocean-freight security.
“We applaud the Senate for its prompt action on port security issues,” said Alan Baer, chief executive officer of New York-based Ocean World Line, and acting chairman of the Intermediaries’ Government and Security Council. “However, we believe the legislation contains certain provisions that if implemented would not enhance security as much as hinder the flow of commerce, and potentially harm an important sector of the international trade community.”
The Senate passed the Port and Maritime Security Act, S.1214, on Thursday. The legislation requires pre-filing of cargo manifests to a port before gaining clearance to enter, and prohibits the unloading of improperly documented cargo.
“We believe that intermediaries, and in particular NVOCCs, are specially well suited to provide vital shipment information directly to the government as they presently do pursuant to Customs’ Automated Export System requirements,” said Carlos Rodriguez, counsel to the Intermediaries’ Government and Security Council in Washington.
U.S. Customs through its current Customs Directive, CD 099-3240-074, Sept. 25, 1992, provides for NVOs to participate in the vessel Automated Manifest System. The council wants to work with Customs to integrate NVOs into AMS.
“We look forward to working with Congress when it returns and takes up the issue in the House,” Baer said. “NVOCCs, forwarders, and (customs) brokers stand to be seriously harmed by provisions in the bill that would require the intermediaries to provide commercially sensitive information directly to ocean carriers.”