The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced new requirements for US bound maritime cargo, effective January 2009.
The new requirements otherwise called the Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements interim final rule, (ISF & ACR) which takes effect from January 26 will require maritime cargo carriers and importers to submit additional data to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before their vessels are permitted entry into the country.
The rule requires carriers to submit a vessel stow plan and container status messages under certain scenarios where cargo containers are destined for the US. The rule also requires importers or their agents to submit an Importer Security Filing (ISF) with eight data elements, no later than 24 hours before the cargo is loaded aboard a vessel destined for the US, including seller; buyer; importer of record number/foreign trade zone applicant identification number, consignee number, manufacturer (or supplier), ship to party, country of origin and commodity HTSUS number.
The rule provides flexibility for importers with respect to the submission of four of these data elements. In lieu of a single specific response, importers may submit a range of responses for each of the following data elements: manufacturer (or supplier), ship to party, country of origin, and commodity HTSUS number.
The ISF must be updated as soon as more accurate or precise data becomes available and no later than 24 hours prior to the ship’s arrival at a US port.
The ISF will also need to include two data elements, container stuffing location and consolidator, which must be submitted as early as possible, but no later than 24 hours prior to the ship’s arrival at a US port.