Under provisions of the Maritime Transportation Security Act, S. 2279, working its way through Congress, cargo left on docks over five days would be sent to a General Order warehouse or pay a penalty of $5,000 per bill-of-lading.
As NCBFAA President, Federico Zuniga, points out, “there are already powerful incentives for the importer to do everything in its power to move the container off the pier. The primary incentive occurs after 48 hours, when steamship lines start assessing demurrage charges, which can be very substantial.” When cargo does not move, it is generally because a government agency has put a hold on it. Zuniga notes that, “neither the customs broker, nor the importer, nor the steamship line is authorized under existing law to transport the container until entry and release occurs and a permit for its delivery is granted.” Moving cargo to a General Order warehouse serves to further delay Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System or other, more stringent, customs investigations. Contact the NCBFAA at www.ncbfaa.org .