Advance electronic notice for truck border crossings raises concerns
Nov 23, 2003 12:00 PM
The president of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has expressed concern about the ability of Customs and Border Protection officials to communicate quickly with motor carriers in the processing of US border crossings. Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer, responded to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) releasing final rules that will require trucking companies to provide advance manifest information electronically.
Although agreeing with DHS's efforts to provide better border security, he said, "Motor carriers need a go- or no-go-decision as soon as possible to prevent disruptions in the supply chain and to keep on schedule to satisfy the time-sensitive demands of our just-in-time manufacturing processes.
He pointed out that while most major motor carriers are up to speed in information technology, over 80 percent of the industry is made up of carriers with five or less trucks, and the vast majority of those carriers are likely less-sophisticated in the use of information technology.
DHS has imposed the rules to allow Customs officials to collect cargo information necessary to identify high-risk shipments that could threaten the safety and security of the United States. The final rules released by DHS November 20 for cargo security address the timeline for presenting advance manifest information electronically.
Trucking companies with Free And Secure Trade (FAST) authorization must present the information 30 minutes prior to arrival in the United States. Those without FAST authorization must present the information one hour prior to arrival.
All carriers transporting cargo bound outside the United States must provide the information one hour before arrival at the border. Border officials will process advance cargo information into an automated targeting system linked to various law enforcement and commercial databases. This initial step will enable border officials to identify shipments that pose a potential risk. Previously most non-maritime inbound shipments entered the United States without being screened by an automated targeting system. As a result, most cargo shipments could not be assessed for risk prior to arrival, according to DHS information.
To see more about Graves' comments, click here for the ATA Web site at truckline.com.