CBP Final Rule on In-Bond Process

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced, in the September 28, 2017 edition of the Federal Register, their final ruling adopting, with several changes, proposed amendments to CBP regulations regarding changes to the in-bond process published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2012. After receiving comments and concerns related to the original proposed rulemaking, CBP has made the following changes:

  • In-Transit Time for Merchandise Transported by Barge: The final ruling will extend the in-transit time for in-bond merchandise transported by barge to 60 days, while maintaining the proposed 30-day transit time for the other modes of transportation.
  • Uniform Timeframe for Report of Arrival, Notice of Export and Other Events: In the final rule, CBP is retaining the current time limit of two working days for bonded carriers to report the arrival of merchandise at the port of destination or port of exportation with one technical change.
  • Description of Merchandise: First, CBP will require that in-bond merchandise subject to the authority of a U.S. government agency be described with sufficient accuracy to enable the agency concerned to determine the contents of the shipment. Second, CBP is removing the requirement that the in-bond filer identify prohibited or restricted merchandise. Third, CBP is removing the requirement to provide information regarding textiles and textile products for all in-bond applications. Fourth, CBP is eliminating the requirement that the filer of the in-bond application “must provide” information regarding merchandise for which the U.S. Government, foreign government or other issuing authority, has issued a visa, permit, license, or other similar number or identifying information and stating instead that the filer “may provide” this information. In lieu of requiring all of the information above, CBP is requiring the filer to provide the six-digit HTSUS number.
  • Reporting the Quantity of In-Bond Merchandise: CBP received many comments about the requirement to provide “the quantity of the merchandise to be transported to the smallest piece count” in the in-bond application. CBP is changing the text in the final rule to require “the quantity of the smallest external packing unit.”
  • Divided Shipments: The current regulations allow an in-bond shipment to be split after the shipment reaches the port of destination with a portion of the shipment entered for consumption or warehouse while the remainder of the shipment is forwarded under a new in-bond to a different port of destination. That provision is contained in §18.5, which governs in-bond shipments diverted from one destination port to another. Because the provisions for splitting a shipment are not limited to diverted shipments we are moving the text of this provision, currently proposed §18.5(d), to a new paragraph (m) in §18.1.
  • Clarification of the Term “Bonded Carrier”: “Bonded Carrier” is now defined as a “carrier of merchandise whose bond under §113.63 of this title is obligated for the transportation and delivery of merchandise.” The party that will be ultimately liable is the party whose bond is obligated in the in-bond record for the in-bond movement.
  • Transfers (Transshipment) From One Conveyance to Another: CBP has reevaluated this requirement in light of the comments and has concluded that the requirement to notify CBP when in-bond merchandise is transferred from one conveyance to another is not necessary. The important information for CBP is which party has assumed liability for the shipment of the in-bond merchandise. Accordingly, CBP is changing proposed §18.3 by removing the requirement to notify CBP when merchandise is transferred from one conveyance to another. Additionally, CBP is changing proposed §18.3 to require that when in-bond merchandise is taken over by a subsequent bonded carrier which assumes liability for the merchandise, a report of arrival must be filed by the original bonded carrier and the subsequent carrier must submit a new in-bond application pursuant to §18.1 for the merchandise to be transported in-bond.
  • Seals – Transportation of Bonded Merchandise with Non-Bonded Merchandise: CBP is changing the sealing requirements y adding new provisions §18.4(b)(2) and (3) in the final rule that allow for the transportation of in-bond merchandise with non-bonded merchandise in a container or compartment that is not sealed, if the in-bond merchandise is corded and sealed, or labeled as in-bond merchandise. This will allow in-bond merchandise to be transported with non-bonded merchandise in a container that is not sealed and will facilitate the filling of containers that would otherwise be less than container load shipments.

This ruling will go into effect on November 27, 2017.

Courtesy the NCBFAA