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Martime Safety and Security Report Worldwide Developments

DHS Secretary Ridge on Homeland Security Budget

Andre Fernando 25th March 2004 Meeting

According to a U.S. Department of State press release, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge said Tuesday that the United States is “moving forward” on numerous initiatives to strengthen border, port, and aviation security.

Testifying before Congress February 10 on the fiscal year 2005 DHS budget request, Ridge said the department's $40.2 billion request is 10 percent above resources available in the fiscal year 2004 budget.

The release quoted Ridge as saying that the fiscal year 2005 budget seeks over $400 million in new funding to maintain and enhance border and port security activities, including a $25 million increase for the Container Security Initiative to expand pre-screening of cargo containers in high-risk areas. The budget also includes an 8-percent increase for the U.S Coast Guard to upgrade port security efforts, Ridge added.

Ridge said DHS is seeking a $15.2 million increase for the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and $20.6 million to support improvements for the National Targeting Center and multiple targeting systems that focus on people and/or goods. Ridge said that these systems provide automated risk assessments for arriving international air passengers, and land border passenger traffic, and shipments of goods to the United States.

The Secretary said DHS has “achieved many results" since it was established on March 1, 2003, citing:

  • Strengthening border security through the “One face at the border” initiative;
  • instituting innovative new systems like US-VISIT to identify and track foreign visitors and students and to screen for possible terrorist or criminal involvement;
  • safeguarding air travel from terrorist threat by hardening cockpit doors, instituting 100-percent checked baggage screening; and training more than 50,000 federal passenger and baggage screeners;
  • increasing safeguards on maritime transportation and port infrastructure;
  • improving the collection, analysis and sharing of critical intelligence with key federal, state and local entities; and
  • allocating or awarding over $8 billion to state and local first responders to help them prevent and prepare to respond to acts of terrorism and other potential disasters.

Port of Felixstowe to apply security charge from 1 February 2004

The UK Port of Felixstowe have announced their intention to apply a security charge for all FCL movements from 1 February 2004. Their decision has been prompted by the need to recoup the additional start-up and running costs incurred with achieving compliance with the International Ship and Port facilities Security Code (ISPS) by the 30 June 2004 deadline.

The charge will be applied for all trade lanes.

GBP 10.50 per container will be charged on all imports, billed to the nominated clearing agent.

GBP 5.50 per container will be charged on all exports, billed to the export declarant.

Homeland Security Department Reduces Security Alert Level to “Yellow”

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge issued a press release today announcing that the department, in consultation with the Homeland Security Council, has made the decision to lower the national threat level to yellow, or “elevated” risk.

“Today, based on a careful review of the available intelligence, we have lowered the threat level to Yellow,” Secretary Ridge stated today in a press release. “We are still concerned about the continued threats, but the threat conditions that we’ve been following have diminished. With the passing of the holidays and many large gatherings that occurred during this time, we have made the decision to come down to Yellow.”

“Let me emphasize that, although we have returned to Yellow, we have not let our guard down. Yellow still means that we're at an elevated level of risk. And we will maintain particular vigilance around some critical resources and locales,” Ridge added.

According to an article published on-line today by the Washington Post, Ridge also said today that airline security precautions that were implemented under the high “orange” alert warning level will remain in place.

As reported earlier, the Department of Homeland Security raised the alert level to "high" on Dec. 21 and, in conjunction with numerous departments of the federal government.

The Department of Homeland Security displays the current Alert Level on the home page of its web site at: http://www.dhs.gov. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection also displays the current Alert Level on the home page of its web site at: http://www.customs.gov. Visitors to the site can click the Alert Level chart to link to a graduated list of general precautions the agency implements at each of the possible alert levels.

Reminder: Customs Instructions on Textile and Apparel Detention - 7 PM EST

On July 19, 2003, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection published an Administrative Message reviewing the legal requirements for uniform Customs procedures on the process of detaining textile and apparel shipments when there is a question regarding country of origin claims. Importers should understand these requirements and procedures in the event that their goods are detained by Customs for the purpose of exclusion from entry, so the Newsflash is reprinting these procedures.

Administrative Message 02-0912 stated that, once a textile or apparel shipment is presented for examination to verify country of origin claims, Customs has five business days in which to decide whether the merchandise should be detained. If Customs does not release the merchandise within the five-day limit, the merchandise is considered to be detained by Customs, according to the message.

The message added that, if the subject merchandise is detained, Customs in that port has five days from the date of detention to issue a "notice of detention" to the importer and "any other person having interest in the disposition of the merchandise.” According to Customs, the “notice of detention” must include the following information:

  • initiation of the detention, including the date the merchandise was presented for examination;
  • the specific reason for the detention;
  • the anticipated length of the detention;
  • the nature of any tests or inquiries to be conducted; and
  • notice of an information which, if supplied to the U.S. Customs Service, may accelerate the disposition of the detention.

If Customs does not make a final determination regarding the admissibility of the freight within 30 days after the merchandise has been properly presented for examination - barring an exception specifically authorized by law - the Administrative Message stated that the merchandise will be considered to be excluded from entry by operation of law.

There are very specific procedures which need to be followed in order to prevent shipments from being excluded from entry by operation of law. The Customs directive that provides procedures for textile cargo detention and exclusion from entry is “TBT-02-006 Detention Timeframes for Textiles and Wearing Apparel”, which can be accessed on-line at http://www.customs.gov, search terms “Detention Timeframes for Textiles and Wearing Apparel”.

According to Administrative Message 02-0912, further requirements include:

  • the importer has only 30 days from the notice of detention date to provide any requested additional information;
  • the importer must submit such information at a time prior to the end of the 30 day period that allows the detaining officer to sufficiently review the information before the time limit is reached, or the shipment may still be excluded; and
  • Customs ports are not allowed to give importers a minimum time frame - other than the 30 day limit - for when the additional information must be submitted.

If the merchandise is deemed excluded from entry into the United States through this process, the message concluded, the importer will have 90 days from the exclusion date to protest the exclusion. If the protest is denied - specifically or by operation of law - the importer can then summon the exclusion decision to court.

Customs Sets New Compliance Dates for Air Cargo Data

The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection issued a press release yesterday announcing that the agency has revised implementation dates for the transmission of inbound air cargo data required under the Trade Act of 2002. The original implementation date was to be March 4, 2004.

"The new schedule will allow CBP to modify certain critical aspects of Air AMS (Automated Manifest System), train all CBP officers that process imported air cargo on those changes, and certify the software of new participants,” said CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, according to the release.

On December 5, 2003, Customs published a Federal Register notice (68 FR 68140) containing a final rule implementing the Trade Act of 2002's provisions relating to inbound air commerce. The Act required that Customs must electronically receive information concerning the incoming cargo in advance of its arrival, and set a general compliance date of March 4, 2004 for air carriers and other parties participating in advance automated cargo information filing.

"The final rule established procedures not supported by the existing system edits in the Air Automated Manifest System or Air AMS, the CBP-approved electronic data interchange system,” today's press release stated. "CBP will complete the necessary changes to Air AMS in May 2004, followed by a 90-day certification testing period. Implementation will begin as shown in the following chart:

"August 13, 2004 - Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

"October 13, 2004 - Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

"December 13, 2004 - Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington.

"CBP recognizes that some carriers, in order to complete the automation process at all their arrival locations, may desire to begin submitting data for those ports in an earlier timeframe," the release added. “CBP will work with them, and if possible, staffing and training requirements permitting, will accommodate their requests.”

Additional information related to the Federal Register notice and the rule requiring electronic transmission of cargo information can be accessed on-line on the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection web site at: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import/communications_to_industry/advance_info/. The Federal Register notice can be accessed on-line at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html , 2004 Federal Register, Vol. 69 > Search terms: “10151.”

Canada’s 24-Hour Advance Cargo Notification Rule - 7 PM EST

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that it will be implementing the Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) initiative on April 19, 2004.

ACI will be delivered in phases. In accordance with the Canada-U.S. Smart Border Declaration, the focus of ACI Phase 1 is on marine cargo and conveyance information.

Effective April 19, 2004, marine carriers and freight forwarders will be required to electronically transmit marine cargo data to the CBSA 24 hours prior to the loading of the cargo in the foreign port. The CBSA will risk assess the data, and reach agreements with foreign customs authorities to examine any shipments identified as a potential security threat. Details related to ACI Phase 1 requirements are available in Customs Notice CN542 Advance Commercial Information - Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Cargo and Conveyance Reporting.

Freight forwarders who choose not to transmit 24 hours prior to loading will be required to provide this data directly to the ocean carrier.

Importer/consignee and shipper responsibilities under ACI include providing detailed shipment information, including - but not limited to - items such as the actual shipper and ultimate consignee's name and address as well as an accurate and detailed description of the cargo. Where risks are identified or information is missing, “Risk Assessment” messages will be issued by the CBSA to the operating carrier who filed the preliminary data. These may also be issued to the party filing the supplemental data.

It should be noted that due to this new regulation, any missing information, incorrectly filed or late date transmissions will subject the consignment to loading delays and will increase the possibility of examination.

Further information regarding the requirements and updates from CBSA can be found at: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/import/advance/menu-e.html

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