You may or may not be aware that U.S. law allows members of the press to examine, copy, and publish importer and exporter ocean shipment details on a regular basis.
U.S. Customs has the authority to disclose vessel manifest information, which includes details like the name and address of the foreign shipper, consignee, and notify party, to representatives of the press.
This information can also be accessed by the public (for a fee) by subscribing to an online database reporting service such as PIERS.
If you want to protect your company’s product sourcing information from this type of disclosure, we urge you to file a Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Request with U.S. Customs.
19 CFR 103.31 established a procedure to allow companies to request confidential treatment of manifest data. The request must be made in writing by the individual importer/exporter and sent to Customs. All requests remain effective for two years, and will lapse if not renewed at the end of the effective period.
For submission on your behalf of a Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Request/Renewal to Customs free of charge, please contact:
Import Manager (Syracuse)
Tina Jordan is a licensed U.S. Customs Broker and a Certified Customs Specialist. She has been with the company since 2001.