23 July 2003
U.S. Customs Proposes Antiterrorist Regulations on Cargo
All means of transportation to be affected, it
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has proposed regulations
on cargo shipped to and from the United States to target more effectively
shipments posing a terrorist risk.
In a July 22 new release, the agency, part of the Homeland Security
Department, said the proposed regulations require advance information
in electronic format on cargo being sent to and from the United
States by air, land or sea.
The agency said the proposed rules would allow it to assess the
terrorist risk associated with these shipments before their arrival
at the border, thus making movement across the border faster.
Following is the text of the news release:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
July 22, 2003
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY PROPOSES REGULATIONS
TO IMPROVE CARGO SECURITY
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department
of Homeland Security, today announced the publication of proposed
regulations to obtain advance information concerning shipments
of goods to the U.S. These proposed regulations implement Section
343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002. The proposed regulations represent
another step in the Department of Homeland Security's ongoing efforts
to build smarter and more secure borders. The proposed regulations
require advance information, in electronic format, on cargo destined
to and from the United States for each mode of transportation:
air, truck, rail and sea.
"These security measures developed by Customs and Border Protection
are important to the protection of America and the American people," said
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "Advance 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."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will run the cargo data
through an automated targeting system that is linked to various
law enforcement databases, and thus the proposed regulations will
enable CBP to do a better job of identifying shipments that pose
a potential terrorist risk. Today, many shipments, e.g. by commercial
trucks, are admitted into the U.S. without this automated targeting
taking place because CBP receives cargo data in paper format upon
arrival to the United States. As a consequence, the process for
assessing the risks associated with these shipments cannot be done
prior to arrival at the border and thus makes movement across the
border slower and less efficient. The Trade Act provided the Department
of Homeland Security with the authority to change these antiquated,
paper-driven processes for cargo crossing our borders.
"Information is the key to improving many of our border and transportation
security systems," said Asa Hutchinson, Undersecretary for Border
and Transportation Security. "This rule will help provide better
information earlier in the process to help our officers do an even
better job of targeting at risk cargo."
The proposed regulations were developed by U.S. Customs and Border
Protection with significant input from the trade community and
the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA). In the proposed regulations,
CBP carefully considered, and in many cases adopted, recommendations
from the trade. The proposed regulations also closely track a similar
proposal by CCRA.
"These regulations will permit us to risk manage far more effectively
for the terrorist threat. That's what building smart borders is
all about," said CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. "The proposed
regulations are the result of a careful and considered effort to
strike the appropriate balance between security and trade facilitation."
The following are the proposed timelines for each transportation
Proposals for Imports:
-- Air and Courier: 4 hours prior to arrival in U.S., or "wheels
up" from certain nearby areas
-- Rail: 2 hours prior to arrival in the U.S.
-- Vessel: 24 hours prior to landing at foreign port
-- Truck: FAST [Free and Secure Trade]: 30 minutes prior to arrival
in U.S.; Non-FAST: 1 hour prior to arrival in the U.S.
Proposals for Exports:
-- Air and Courier: 2 hours prior to departure from the U.S.
-- Rail: 4 hours prior to attachment of engine before going to
a foreign area
-- Vessel: 24 hours prior to departure from the last U.S. port
-- Truck: 2 hours prior to border crossing
The full text of the proposed regulations is available on the
Customs and Border Protection Web site at www.cbp.gov.
The public has 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal
Register to submit their comments to CBP on the proposals. U.S.
Customs and Border Protection is a new agency within the Department
of Homeland Security that unifies U.S. Customs, Immigration and
Agriculture inspectors and the Border Patrol.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs,
U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)