Industry concerned about EU changes to advance cargo data rules

Proposed rule would require carriers to obtain buyer/seller info for submission to EU customs authorities.

Excerpt from American Shipper  | By: Eric Kulisch  |  January 26, 2015


The freight transportation industry is urging the European Commission to use care in the type of new data it seeks about parties related to import transactions as it rewrites advance data reporting requirements to improve cargo security. The changes are part of an overall update of the Union Customs Code.

In an effort to obtain the identity of the “buyer” and “seller” of the imported goods before vessel loading, the EC has proposed that the information be provided to the carrier, NVOCC or the consignee to be filed in an entry summary declaration as a condition of vessel loading.

The World Shipping Council (representing international container lines), the European Shippers Council, the European freight forwarders association (CLECAT), the European Community Shipowners Association and other business groups point out that “buyer” and “seller” data may be confidential and that it is not appropriate to disclose it to ocean carriers, logistics companies or the receivers, who may not be parties to the sales contract for the goods. The data elements are not included in the carrier’s bill of lading and carriers have no business reason to possess them, according to the WSC.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, through its Importer Security Filing, gets the information directly from the importer.


The World Shipping Council is warning exporters that if the rule goes through

they will be required to provide the identify of buyers of their goods to their carrier,

NVO or consignee prior to vessel loading so they can include it in the declaration.

The Commission regulations for the implementation of the UCC are scheduled to be adopted in May so that they, in principle, can take effect as of May 1, 2016.

The World Shipping Council, in a statement, said it agreed with the EC’s other main proposal to require NVOCCs to file the entry summary declarations just as ocean carriers do today. The change addresses shortcomings with original advance data rules issued in 2006, but the WSC said regulators should provide more details about how the change will be implemented.