Marine rule would put the brakes on just-in-time shipments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A customs rule being finalized in the U.S. is going to require extra detail from marine exporters and could be worrisome if the idea is floated to land crossings.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection should implement the rule in November, which will make cargo notification rules to customs for U.S.-bound ships even more stringent.

Exporters will have to provide information about every cargo container loaded on a ship bound for the U.S., including the location of the product on the boat, the buyer, the seller, manufacturer and other records. And it all has to be done 24 hours before the cargo is even loaded on the ship.

Manufacturers who rely on just-in-time deliveries worry that it will eventually be applied to land crossings, reports the Windsor Star.

"It could be paralyzing and devastating for the border," Jayson Myers, president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, was quoted as saying.

The new rule is all in the name of security and CBP has said it has no plans to apply the rule to land crossings, but there are doubts.

The Canadian embassy in Washington has already been lobbying the U.S. government to discourage it from applying the rule to land crossings, Myers said. Myers said manufacturers don’t object to supplying the information, but it would be difficult for a trucking firm to do it 24 hours in advance and to provide the exact location of the product on the truck.

Trucking companies currently file cargo information to U.S. customs an hour ahead, but just-in-time delivery usually means placing an order and delivering it in 24 hours or less, Myers said.

The new vessel rules won’t apply to ferries, which are viewed as an extension of the highway, but short sea shipping across the Great Lakes will be affected.


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