Delay of your cargo is sometimes caused by natural phenomenons such as extreme weather conditions or technical issues, but a majority of the time the reason behind your delay is U.S. customs. Ever since the September 11 tragedy, U.S. Customs have taken drastic measures to beef up its border from contrabands ranging from personal goods to warfare weapons. Let’s take  a look into the actions from U.S. Customs in protecting its border, and the affects these measures have on your shipments.

It’s estimated by U.S. Customs that over 11 million cargo containers are coming into the U.S. every year. In order to better protect its border, U.S. Customs with the support of The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the European Union (EU) launched the Container Security Initiative (CSI). The CSI operates in 58 ports worldwide, covering most regions in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North, Central and South America.

The core purpose of the CSI:

1. Using risk based analysis and intelligence software such automated advance targeting information to identify high risk cargo
2. Pre-screening containers that poses a risk before they depart from arrive to the Port of entry in the U.S.
3. Using Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) state of the art detection technology such as Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS exam) to scan containers that poses high risk examine cargo that pose as high risk.

Of the 11 million containers arriving into the US annually, almost 100 % of them were reviewed in CSI port before departure towards the United States. With such initiative from U.S. Customs and with those odds, it’s very difficult to hide what goods you are bringing in from U.S. Customs.

How this affects you as an importer? Your shipment can be delay if the requirements by U.S. Customs are not met. It is in your best interest to abide by U.S. Customs rules. You have to ensure that required manifest data information is submitted to U.S. Customs 24 hours prior of inbound to U.S. destinations. Any delay in filing information such as AMS (Automated Manifestation system) or ISF (Importer Security Filing), you cargo can be held at one of the CSI ports before the U.S. or after it’s arrival into the port of entry in the U.S.

U.S. Customs is always updating their system and rules to protect our border from high risk cargo, and with partnering countries and ports, our border will be tighter and securer. U.S. Customs is the ultimate rule maker when it comes to US trade, and in order minimize your delay, you will have to abide their rule within the system.