Europeans See Security Program as Trade Burden

Nicolette van der Jagt, secretary general of the European Shippers Council (ESC) said, “We welcome the fact that the European Commission has already expressed concern that the 10 +2 rule does not respect the SAFE Framework established by the World Customs Organisation since [it] goes far beyond what is recommended by the WCO.”

The trade data initiative will require 10 elements of information for shipments that are intended for entry in the US. They include 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 the goods, and commodity harmonized tariff schedule.

The ESC secretary general added, “. . .we are not sure whether European exporters are willing to exchange commercially very sensitive information with their trading partners.”

The Hong Kong Shippers' Council provided information on the European response to members without further comment on it position.

The US-based National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) spent three months in deliberation with members and filed comments in which the League said it “supported the adoption of the 10 +2 requirements as an Interim Final Rule, which will allow Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect additional comments from the trade community following implementation of the rule and to modify the rule in the future, if necessary.”

The group also supported the elimination or substantial reduction of civil penalties for non compliance, which it considered “discriminatory and unduly burdensome.”

NITL's comments also supported coordination of the 10 +2 data elements with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and it supported the WCO's SAFE Framework of Standards.

In December 2007, the ESC complimented the WCO for revisions to the SAFE Framework. One of the concerns from the initial adoption of the SAFE Framework was language that made the “importer or his/her agent responsible for submitting an advance electronic Import Goods declaration to Customs at import prior to arrival of the means of transport at the first Customs office.” At that time, ESC noted WCO had responded to the concern that the importer was not the best placed person to provide that information. In most cases, the party best situated to provide the information is the carrier.

ESC commented that making those changes in the rule would help secure and protect trade without interrupting the flow of goods or presenting a barrier to commerce.

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