Beginning January 26, 2010, importers and carriers will have to submit this information including point of origin, to US Customs and Border Protection officials who view it as another tool to maintain US homeland security in the post-9/11 world.
At the Port of Tacoma where this will affect more than 21,000 importers, the port, along with federal officials, is reminding importers, brokers and carriers to be ready and seek advice if they have questions regarding the rule, formally called the ‘Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements’.
“We want to make sure that all of our importers are aware of this,” said Tong Zhu, director of commercial strategy for the Port of Tacoma. We’ve been working with Customs and Border Protection to make sure that this process goes smoothly.”
Importers or their brokers will need to send the bulk of this information electronically at least 24 hours before cargo is placed on a US-bound ship. Two other pieces of information, loading location and consolidator, will need to be sent 24 hours before that ship arrives at a US port.
Carriers will need to send their vessel stow plans and container status messages, which show when cargo arrives and leaves a port.
If importers or brokers fail to submit this information or send inaccurate or incomplete files, the government could levy fines of US$5,000 or place “Do Not Load” orders on shipments.