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Elevating Trade Compliance: CBP's Requirement of Precision in Cargo Descriptions Starting April 1, 2024

Starting April 1, 2024, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will launch a new cargo messaging system nationwide to address vague cargo descriptions in shipments. This initiative, grounded in regulations including 19 CFR § 4.7a, 122.48a, 123.91, 123.92, and 128.21, mandates precise merchandise descriptions for carriers and other parties filing electronic cargo data. Vague terms like “gift,” “daily necessities,” “accessories,” “parts,” and “consolidated” are targeted for correction to enhance trade compliance and security.


CBP's system will send notifications through ACE Cargo Release after the cargo's release, prompting brokers and importers to collaborate with shippers and bill of lading issuers to amend and improve descriptions for future compliance.


The responsibility for ensuring accurate cargo descriptions extends to brokers and freight forwarders who self-file House Bills, who are held to the same standards as carriers. They are expected to review cargo messages for compliance and take immediate corrective action if non-compliance is identified. This initiative is a significant step towards streamlining trade processes and enhancing the efficiency and security of cargo transport into the U.S., necessitating readiness from all trade and logistics professionals to adapt to these new compliance standards.


For more information, can be found on below CSMS URL.


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