CBP Delays Implementation of the Term "Shipper"

The regulation governing compliance with the Trade Act of 2002 requiring advance electronic transmission of cargo data on imports and exports, 19 CFR 4.7a(c)(4)(viii), was published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2003. That regulation called for compliance starting March 4, 2004. However, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has delayed parts of the rule.

The delay will provide CBP with an opportunity to carefully evaluate and respond to a petition from the trade that challenged the definition of "shipper" in the Trade Act of 2002 final rule. In the final rule, the term "shipper" is defined to include the foreign vendor, supplier, manufacturer, or other similar party. The industry is requesting that this definition be repealed.

"CBP will work with the trade to clearly define the term shipper. Until a decision is made, CBP will withhold full enforcement on the term 'shipper' as it is defined under the Trade Act final rule for vessel operations," said CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. Instead, CBP will use the 24-Hour rule definition of shipper until the issue is resolved. Under the 24-Hour rule, the party that contracts for carriage of the cargo is acceptable in the shipper field.

For more information on the rule requiring electronic transmission of cargo information, please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection web site at hwww.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import/communications_to_industry/advance_info/

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