US Security Rules Moving—Slowly

The 10+2 rules for ocean shipping have cleared the Office of Management and Budget (OBM), says Richard Di Nucci, VP, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is on Capitol Hill awaiting action and the rules will appear in the Federal Register, says DeNucci, though he didn't have exact timing for when the rulemaking would be published.

Speaking on a security panel at the joint meeting of the National Industrial Transportation League, Transportation Intermediaries Association and Intermodal Association of North America, Albert Saphir, principal of ABS Consulting, added that tests had been conducted with 121 importers and 10 filers over over 60,000 completed documents. That experience has pointed to a couple of problem areas, including address information.

The complexity of supply chains often makes it difficult to obtain full and accurate information on manufacturers, said CBP's Di Nucci, leading to an agreement to accept the supplier name.

On the larger issue of 100% scanning of inbound ocean shipments, there are still serious questions of practicality, says Di Nucci. He asks, is it responsive to the regulation [requiring scanning] to use a risk assessment approach? The industry supports the multi-level risk assessment process which does have some support in Congress.

As slow as progress may sound within the US, the perception of overseas providers is that the US is moving very fast, says Saphir.

Jonathan Gold, VP - Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation, points to an ongoing need to educate regulators and legislators to ensure they understand the impact of their actions on commerce. Air cargo issues and requirements for screening are a good example. The industry is three months away from implementation of 50% scanning in air and the equipment hasn't been approved or placed, noted panel members. Discussions of the requirement for 50% of the air waybill to be scanned raised questions about how that would be interpreted. Just a day before, security meetings were addressing that issue and the result of those discussions sounded ambiguous.

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