On January 2, 2008, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, seeking comments on the proposed Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements – commonly referred to as the “10 + 2 Rule.” The proposed regulations were required by the SAFE Port Act, which was signed into law on October 13, 2006, and would impose significant additional advance data reporting requirements on both carriers and importers for all goods that arrive within the limits of a port in the United States. Specifically, the rule requires importers or their agents, before shipment, to transmit to CBP up to 10 additional elements of information and carriers to submit a vessel stow plan as well as daily container status messages.

Proposed Importer Requirements

The 10 + 2 rule requires importers or their agents to transmit an “Importer Security Filing” to CBP no later than 24 hours before the cargo is laden aboard a vessel destined to the United States.1 For goods intended to be entered into the United States or delivered to a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), the rules require importers to transmit the following 10 elements:

1. Manufacturer (or supplier) name and address (manufacturer ID number is not sufficient);

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 or FTZ applicant identification number;

8. Consignee number(s);

9. Country of origin;

10. Commodity HTSUS number (to at least the 6-digit level).

For shipments consisting entirely of freight remaining on board (FROB), immediate exportation (IE) goods, or transportation or exportation (T&E) in-bond shipments, the importer 2 need only provide the following five elements in its Importer Security Filing:

1. Booking party name and address;

2. Foreign port of unlading;

3. Place of delivery;

4. Ship to name and address;

5. Commodity HTSUS number.

CBP will transmit a confirmation message to the importer confirming only that the Importer Security Filing has been successfully filed; however, CBP will not validate that the data transmitted is complete and accurately transmitted. It is incumbent on the importer or the importer’s agent to ensure completeness and accuracy of the filing.

In an effort to reduce the burden on importers, CBP is proposing to allow an importer to submit certain data elements common to the Importer Security Filing and entry/entry summary filings (CBP Forms 3461 and 7501 respectively) once to be used for both purposes, with certain restrictions. 3 Similarly, a filer may submit the application to admit goods to an FTZ (CBP Form 214) and the Import Security Filing in a single transaction allowing the filer to submit the common data elements once to be used in connection with both filings.

Proposed Carrier Requirements

The proposed rule will require carriers to submit vessel stow plans via the vessel AMS system no later than 48 hours after the departure from the last foreign port. For voyages that will be less than 48 hours in duration, carriers are only required to submit the stow plan prior to the vessel’s arrival at the first port in the United States. The vessel stow plan must include the following standard information:

1. With regard to the vessel itself – A) the vessel name, including international maritime organization (IMO) number; B) the vessel operator; C) the voyage number.

2. With regard to each container or unit of break bulk cargo – A) the container operator, if containerized; B) the equipment number, if containerized; C) the equipment size and type, if containerized; D) the stow position; E) the hazmat-UN code; F) the port of lading; and G) the port of discharge.

In addition to the vessel stow plans, the 10 + 2 rule requires carriers to submit daily container status messages (CSMs) via the vessel AMS system within 24 hours after the message is entered into the carrier’s equipment tracking system. CSMs are used to report various terminal container movements, such as loading and discharging the vessel, as well as changes in the status of containers (e.g., empty or full).

Filing Exemptions

The proposed regulations exempt importers of bulk cargo from the proposed importer and carrier requirements for bulk goods only when the goods are also exempt from the requirement that the carrier file the cargo declaration 24 hours prior to loading (the 24-Hour Rule). However, an Importer Security Filing is still required for break bulk shipments even where the goods are exempt from the 24-Hour Rule. In addition, Importer Security Filings are not required for “instruments of international traffic” (e.g., containers, pallets, racks, etc.).

Phasing In the Regulations and Possible Expansion to Other Transportation Modes CBP states that it intends to phase in the enforcement process gradually, as it did with previous regulations such as the 24-Hour Rule. In addition, CBP notes that it will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this rule after it is implemented, and will consider expanding the advance data requirements for other transportation modes.