As a common practice, importers and consignees may submit a request to US Customs, pursuant to 19 CFR 103.31, to keep manifest information confidential. Our previous blog post on this topic includes several tips to ensure these requests result in the broadest degree of confidentiality.
Recently, importers and consignees who have submitted confidentiality requests have complained to CBP that confidential shipping data — party/shipper/consignee name and address — for ocean freight have nevertheless been disclosed to the public. After reviewing the matter, Customs has determined that “improper data entry” was the cause. To avoid this, CBP advises in a recent CSMS publication, when filing e-Manifests in ACE, “the commercial party name fields must ONLY contain commercial party name data.” Otherwise,
“…the name of the party stored in the ACE database is corrupted because it includes address data. This inaccurate party name data fails the confidentiality edits resulting in confidential business information being shared publicly. This inadvertent disclosure is tied directly to the way in which data is transmitted by users.”
Additional information can be found in CBP’s CSMS #13-000064.