Not surprisingly, there has been shipper pushback to implementation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's so-called "10+2 rule" requiring ocean importers and carriers to electronically file 12 new data elements with the agency.
In comments filed June 1 with CBP, the shipper group National Industrial Transportation League said its members were having trouble complying with one of the elements requiring importers to provide the container stuffing location and a consolidator's name and address 24 hours prior to the loading of cargo onto a ship at a foreign port. The league said the problem was especially pronounced for consolidated loads that involve overseas vendors.
The group asked the CBP to be more flexible in its filing standards and urged the agency to extend its current, more relaxed filing requirements for six months. "This would allow importers to continue to work with overseas parties to allow for improved compliance and produce more complete and accurate data," NITL said in its comments.
NITL also said some importers were having trouble obtaining bill of lading numbers from steamship lines in a timely fashion. As a result, some importers have been unable to submit filings to CBP at least 24 hours prior to the cargo's loading at a foreign port. In addition, NITL asked CBP to re-examine the agency's maximum $5,000 penalty for non-compliance, especially in cases where an importer unknowingly makes errors in the filing. The group called on CBP to assess maximum fines only in "egregious situations" where an importer has demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance.
The 10+2 rule took effect on Jan. 26. However, CBP has set Jan. 26, 2010, as the deadline for full compliance with 10+2 so it can review comments from companies on their experiences in meeting the rule's requirements.