TT CLUB MEMBERS DISCUSS U.S. 24-HOUR MANIFEST RULE
At a recent security forum held in London, the Through Transport Club and its members debated how U.S. Customs’ 24-hour manifest rule and the International Maritime Organization’s amendments to Chapter XI of the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention could be implemented by European ports.
Although a number of TT Club members predicted “difficulties and disruption” under U.S. Customs’ rule, whereby a vessel’s cargo manifest must be filed no later than 24 hours prior to the ship being loaded at a European port, “there was a will to comply,” the TT Club said in a statement.
However, “there is a real need for the Department of Homeland Security to reassess its own security procedures,” said Andrew Webster, the TT Club’s European loss prevention manager.
Noting that current plans call for U.S. Customs to use its 24-hour window to check shipper declarations made on manifests received from foreign ports, Webster urged that Customs use that time period “to also cross-check company and individual identities … from intelligence reports and other data.”
Webster said the “just-in-time” system, which at first might seem endangered by additional manifest demands, could be adjusted to take account of the 24-hour notification process.
Although additional costs would be incurred at first, the so-called “glass pipeline” evolving within global supply chains will save money in the end. “A transparent system leads to standardization of documentation, which in turn, leads to a more efficient operation,” Webster said.