Industry News

New Online Import Data Manifest Confidentiality Process

New Online Import Data Manifest Confidentiality Process

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has just announced it will deploy a new online process for submitting Electronic Vessel Manifest Confidentiality requests.  Although a deployment date has not been announced, we are excited to see an upgrade to CBP’s process for submitting such requests. Prior to the new technology, an organization would have to submit an actual letter or email to CBP to request confidentiality of its ocean manifest data on shipments entering and exiting the United States, which would typically take up to 3 months to be processed.  CBP’s announcement states, “Automating the process by which an importer, consignee or exporter may request confidential treatment of its name and address on inward or outward vessel manifests will allow trade users to manage their own confidentiality requests electronically via a new tool on”  This enhancement will significantly reduce process time to as little as 24 hours.  In addition, the new tool will enable companies and individuals to directly input all applicable name
variations into the Vessel Manifest Confidentiality request tool.

Manifest Data

Why is this important?

Did you know that your ocean bill of lading manifest information is available for public review?  There are companies that actually data mine this information daily and provide it to your competitors, customers, logistics firms, and anyone else that is willing to pay for it. Did you know you can protect this data?  At Scarbrough, we value your confidentiality and are pleased to introduce you to the “Manifest Confidentiality Request” mechanism to have this information removed from public record.  According to privacy statue, 19 CFR 103.31, an importer or consignee may request confidential treatment of its name and address contained in inward manifest, and of the shipper and shipper’s name and address. The rules may be accessed here.

What else you need to know

The primary purpose of the Manifest Confidentiality Request is to keep your sensitive manifest information including identifying marks and numbers confidential or from being disclosed to the public for a period of two years at a time.

According to Customs Regulations, “The Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552), provides for access to information and records developed or maintained by Federal Agencies.”  U.S. Customs and Border Protection is required to make available the following AMS manifest data elements to the public.  However, U.S. companies have the right to request that their private company information is indeed kept private.

The following information is currently available to the public:

Manifest Data Elements

The following are the data elements from the AMS manifest which will be provided to the public via CD-ROMS:

Carrier CodeVessel Country Code
Vessel nameVoyage number
District/port of unladingEstimated arrival date
Bill of lading numberForeign port of lading
Manifest quantityManifest units
WeightWeight unit
Shipper name*Shipper address*
Consignee name*Consignee address*
Notify party name*Notify party address*
Piece countDescription of goods
Container numberSeal number
***Designates data element which will be deleted where confidentiality has been requested.

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About Scarbrough

Scarbrough, headquartered in Kansas City with local presence in every major port in the world, is a complete international and domestic supply chain service provider, offering U.S., Mexico, and Canada Customs brokerage, Import & Export Transportation Solutions, Domestic brokerage and asset-based trucking, Warehouse Fulfillment services, Trade Compliance Consulting, Large Equipment and Project Cargo moves, as well as Parcel Audit Savings.  Scarbrough is widely known for its trade experts, free training, personalized customer service, customized solutions, and data analytics tools.  Since 1984, Scarbrough has continued to satisfy its clients by following its motto on a daily basis: “It is our job to make your job easier.”  Moreover, our team of experts is available at your disposal.  We offer free 20 minute consultations on any topic from supply chain optimization and duty savings opportunities to the basics, helping to guide new importers and exporters as they jump into the world of global trade.

CBP Page: Confidential Treatment of Manifest Data