On April 1, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that they will begin using cargo messaging to address vague cargo descriptions with entry filers on shipments. Importers must address these vague descriptions with their suppliers and the bill of lading issuer ensuring future compliance.

Targeted descriptions include but are not limited to:

  1. Parts
  2. Consolidated
  3. Accessories
  4. Shells
  5. Plates

In most cases, CBP messages will be received via the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release after the release of the cargo. This serves as a critical reminder of the importer’s responsibility under Reasonable Care to provide an invoice to CBP with sufficient descriptions to classify imported articles on a detailed level. The Customs regulations have always required a precise description of your import documents.

Brokers, freight forwarders, and importers will be held equally accountable to correct the issue and ensure compliance with future shipments. Failure to provide compliant cargo descriptions could delay the release of cargo and lead to penalties.

What steps can I take?

We recommend working with your supplier and your Customs Broker to create better descriptions of your goods to be shown on your commercial invoice and bills of lading. Reach out to Mohawk Global Trade Advisors if you need further assistance.

By Clarissa Chiclana

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