24 -Hour Maritime Security Rules Expanded
Effectively immediately, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection will penalize and fine carriers that don't provide adequate? cargo manifest information.
WASHINGTON, DC - The US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expanding enforcement of the "24-hour rule" that requires advance cargo declarations for vessels sailing from foreign ports to the US.
The move is effective immediately and the CBP said it would begin issuing "Do Not Load" messages for carriers that fail to provide adequate cargo descriptions, and impose monetary penalties for late submissions.
In addition, the use of such long-used, but nonetheless vague, cargo descriptions a "Freight-All-Kinds (FAK)," "Said-To-Contain," or "General Merchandise" "will not be tolerated."
Previous enforcement efforts had focused only on "significant" violations of the 24-hour rule, which became effective in December 2002, according to a spokesman for the CBP.
Starting May 15, CBP will issue "Do Not Load" messages for clear violations of the name and address requirement for cargo recipients and will impose monetary penalties for foreign cargo that does not have a valid description and was loaded without providing US officials 24-hour advance notice.
For example, consignee fields left blank, or the use of "To Order" and "To Order of Shipper" without corresponding information in the consignee field and notify party field, or consignee name with no address, incomplete address or invalid address are not acceptable.
Carriers may then be assessed a $5,000 penalty for first violations and $10,000 for any subsequent violations, the agency said.
Non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) may be assessed liquidated damages in the amount of $5,000. Every subsequent violation will also be $5,000.
The spokesman said the CBP had reviewed more than 2.4 million bills of lading between February 2 and April 29 and that about 260 containers with inadequate cargo descriptions were denied loading for violation of the 24-hour rule.
Most of these violations were resolved in time for the shipment to make its original voyage, according to the news release.
Members of the trade community can email their questions to CBP at email@example.com.
The CBP - which became a component of the Department of Homeland Security on March 1 - is also working with the Treasury Advisory Committee on the Commercial Operations of the US Customs Service (COAC) to implement the rule.
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