By Paul Scott Abbott, AJOTIncreased advance data filing requirements and the impacts of dynamic trade growth are among issues with which US trade facilitators expect to grapple next month when the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America holds its 33rd annual conference in Chandler, AZ.
For customs brokers in particular, concerns surround US Customs & Border Protection’s planned implementation of a program to require advance filings of a dozen additional data elements for shipments heading to US ports. The program is commonly referred to as “Ten Plus Two” or simply “10+2.”
Longtime NCBFAA leader Peter H. Powell Sr. noted that association officials have been working with CBP counterparts for some four years in hopes that expanded data requirements will provide more benefits than burdens.
“It’s going to be proof in the pudding when it really starts,” said Powell, chief executive officer of C.H. Powell Co. in Westwood, MA, who served as NCBFAA president from 1998 through 2002 and thereafter as association chairman.
Implementation of 10+2 is anticipated to occur in the Fall, after conclusion of comment and rulemaking procedures.
Speaking on Jan. 29 at the American Association of Exporters and Imports’ (AAEI) Winter Conference & Expo in New Orleans, US Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Dr. Richard C. Barth said 10+2 should provide benefits for all, including facilitating a more secure supply chain, without imposing undue burdens.
Nonetheless, skepticism and uncertainty abound in the trade facilitation community when it comes to 10+2.
Robert Coleman, chief executive officer and president of TLR-Total Logistics Resource Inc. in Portland, OR, a NCBFAA director and Freight Forwarder Committee member, noted that 10+2 is still in draft proposal form, “so specifics have not been established and there are a lot of questions.”
Those questions, according to Coleman, include:
- Who should be eligible to transmit the security filing?
- How should the security filing be made?
- What are the specific data elements to be included in the security filing?
“It is currently very unclear what CBP is thinking in regards to who may file this information – the shipper overseas, the NVOCC [non-vessel-operating common carrier], the actual ocean carrier, the importer or a licensed broker,” Coleman said. “The actual information to be filed is also very much up in the air. There is some thought that the vessel, voyage number and the master bill of lading be included in the requirement.”
On the issue of who should make the filings, the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) of the International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations recently recommended that a single party file the additional data elements, although that party would gather contributions from several sources. Under the recommendation, the importer of record would be responsible for the data, but the importer could designate an agent to file the data. COAC members also emphasized that the process of filing the data elements should be thoroughly tested before Customs proposes formal rules governing them.
As currently proposed under 10+2, importers or their designees would be required to electronically submit, 24 hours before the loading of US-bound vessels, the following 10 elements: Manufacturer name and address, seller name and address, container stuffing location, consolidator name and address, buyer name and address, “ship-to” name and address, importer of record number, consignee number, country of origin of goods and six-digit commodity harmonized tariff schedule number. The two additional data sets proposed to be required of ocean carriers as vessels proceed toward US ports are the vessel stow plan and container status messages.
Coleman said he is concerned about what may happen if vessel, voyage number and master bill of lading information filing is required.
“If this becomes part of the requirement,” Coleman asked, “what happ