a move to keep out terrorists and their weapons, the U.S. Customs
and Border Protection Department proposed regulations July 22 to
order shippers to electronically provide cargo details before arrival
in the United States by air, rail or truck.
cargo information is essential to not only preventing instruments
of terrorism from being shipped into this country, but also to speed
the flow of legitimate cargo across our borders,” Homeland Security
Secretary Tom Ridge said in a statement.
the rules, cargo transporters would have a specific amount of time
to alert Customs about what they are carrying before crossing U.S.
cargo coming into the country by commercial truck, information would
have to be provided 30 minutes before arrival for companies that
are part of customs' "Free and Secure Trade" program with
Canada, in which participants agree to take certain security-enhancing
steps. For others, information on truck cargo would have to be provided
an hour before arrival.
Commissioner Robert Bonner said customs authorities currently receive
some advance information on cargo carried by airplanes, rail cars
and trucks, but the information is provided voluntarily and isn't
many shipments, especially on commercial trucks, customs currently
receives cargo information on paper, not electronically, and upon
arrival in the country.
proposed regulations are the result of a careful and considered
effort to strike the appropriate balance between security and trade
facilitation,” Bonner said.
a 30-day comment period, a final rule will be submitted Sept. 15
and take effect 15 days later – a timetable set out in the Trade
Act of 2002.
shippers told The Washington Post it was difficult to gauge
the impact the regulations on their costs.
is too early to say this is heinous, good or excellent," said
Peter Powell Sr., chairman of the National Customs Brokers &
Forwarders Association of America, which has 700 members. "To
be sure, business will be done differently."
doubted, though, that the regulations would force any businesses
to close shop.
Corp. said it would use the comment period to raise its concerns
about the proposed rules, the newspaper reported.
still remain concerned that these proposed regulations will hurt
the U.S. economy by slowing down critical shipments," said
spokeswoman Sandra Munoz, who said the company had not yet seen
the regulations. "We believe there could still be some reasonable
accommodations to make sure goods can move efficiently."