Port Miami and CBP Join Forces to Bring Back Transshipment

Published Nov 22, 2013 2:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

Port Miami has been working feverishly to bring back transshipment to Miami. Port Miami Director Bill Johnson asked the CBP to develop a pilot program, “with a transshipment inspection protocol pilot for Port Miami.”

Prior to 9-11, transshipment made up over 22% of the cargo trade at Port Miami. Now, that transshipment cargo goes through Panama, Freeport, and Kingston. 

Why? CBP’s increased inspections of transshipment goods, resulting in cargo delays and added expenses.  A specific example is CBP’s intensive examination of goods checking for intellectual property rights violations, and seizing goods that are non-compliant, when alternative ports are not as proactive.  CBP confirmed that after 9-11, almost all transshipment cargo was inspected, now, CBP is down to under 5% (a much more reasonable number).

CBP has confirmed that its mission is to protect the nation’s borders, but, also to promote and expedite trade and commerce.

CBP leaders are active on this new transshipment committee and has 4 goals:

As a result of PortMiami’s efforts, a new task-force has formed, and CBP is actively partnering with PortMiami to ensure its success.  

CBP has assigned a “Customer Service Manager” from CBP. Robert Martin, Chief of ATCET will take on this role. Terminal operators will have direct contact with Chief Martin to discuss delays and help facilitate the flow of legitimate cargo.

Kenneth Haeffner, the APD of Trade for CBP will take on a new role in charge of “Outreach” and has promised to work with the Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association (FCBF) on an “In-Bond” class to assure all stakeholders understand all in bond requirements, especially the Importer Security Filing (ISF) requirements as they relate to in-bonds.

The terminals will provide CBP a list of all in transit merchandise, in advance, and CBP promised to coordinate the expediting review of in transit merchandise (as CBP does for perishable goods).  CBP will also coordinate physical exam efforts to assure goods are examined and released expeditiously so the goods can make their next sailing. 

Read more on this and related topics at Customs & International Trade Law Blog.

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