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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Railroads must begin complying with customs agency's advance cargo data regulation in July


The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division of the Department of Homeland Security recently released a schedule determining when railroads must begin transmitting advance electronic cargo information to the agency.

On July 12, railroads crossing 24 U.S. ports of entry along the Mexican and Canadian borders must transmit cargo data two hours prior to the freight entering the United States. Failure to comply could delay shipments or increase border inspection requirements.

Railroads departing Canada through four ports of entry in Maine must begin complying Aug. 10; roads departing Mexico through one Texas and two California ports of entry must begin complying Sept. 9.

Required data includes container or rail-car numbers and the numbers on seals affixed to containers and/or cars; the shipper's complete name and foreign street address (CBP will not accept the name of a carrier, consolidator, freight forwarder or broker); the consignee's complete name and street address; the shipment's piece count; the cargo's description and weight; and an internationally recognized hazardous-material code (if applicable).

The advance notice rule is part of CBP's anti-terrorism strategy.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/14/2004