On January 2, 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled “Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements,” more commonly known as “10+2.” CBP has proposed this rule to help identify high-risk shipments so as to prevent smuggling or importation of terrorist weapons, and to ensure cargo safety and security. The proposed regulations would require both importers and vessel carriers to submit additional data elements to CBP pertaining to cargo prior to lading the cargo on vessels destined for the United States.

Under proposed 10+2 rules, importers would be required to submit to Customs an Importer Security Filing no later than 24 hours before cargo is laden aboard a vessel destined to the United States. If the shipment is not designated as for immediate exportation (IE), for transportation & exportation (T&E), or foreign cargo remaining on board (FROB), then the Importer Security Filing must contain ten data elements. These elements are as follows:

1) Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address.

2) Seller name and address.

3) Buyer name and address.

4) Ship to name and address.

5) Container stuffing location.

6) Consolidator (stuffer) name and address.

7) Importer of record number / foreign trade zone (FTZ) applicant identification number.

8) Consignee number(s).

9) Country of origin.

10) Commodity HTSUS number (6-digit level required, 10-digit level optional).

In addition, the proposed rule requires that carriers submit to CBP two sets of data elements for vessels destined to the United States. First, the carrier must submit a vessel stow plan which contains standard information relating to the vessel and each container and unit of break bulk cargo laden on the vessel. CBP must receive this vessel stow plan no later than 48 hours after the vessel has departed from its final foreign port prior to arrival in the United States, or, for voyages less than 48 hours in duration, CBP must receive the stow plan prior to the vessel’s arrival at the first port in the United States. Second, the carrier must submit to CBP container status messages used to report terminal container movements or changes in container status.

Under the proposed regulations, importers or their agents would be required to transmit the Importer Security Filing to CBP via an electronic data interchange system approved by CBP. Currently, those systems are the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and the Vessel Automated Manifest System (AMS). Certain information in the Importer Security Filing may also be used for entry/entry summary purposes, and the importer has the option of filing both the Importer Security Filing and the entry/entry summary concurrently. However, CBP is proposing that one party must aggregate and submit all 10 data elements on the Importer Security Filing.

Finally, the proposed regulations would amend the bond conditions to include agreements by the bond principal to pay liquidated damages for violations of the new rule. On the importer side, failing to comply with the Importer Security Filing requirements would result in the imposition of liquidated damages equal to the value of the merchandise involved in the violation. For carriers, failing to comply with the vessel stow plan requirements would result in the imposition of liquidated damages of $50,000 per vessel. Also, failing to comply with the container status messages requirement would result in the imposition of liquidated damages of $5,000 for each violation, up to a maximum of $100,000 per vessel arrival.

CBP invites importers and other interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed 10+2 rule. These comments must be submitted on or before March 3, 2008.