U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced
that the new 24-hour rule requiring advance cargo manifests from sea carriers goes into effect today. Under the new rule, Customs will grant sea carriers a 60-day grace period to fully implement the program.
"Over the next two months we strongly encourage rapidly increasing compliance by all parties that are required to take action under the regulation. By quickly implementing the '24-hour rule,' we can together do a better job of protecting the American people and the global trading system as a whole," said Commissioner Bonner. "Customs will continue to provide many types of assistance at both the local (port) level and at the Headquarters level, to assist companies in the operational transition to the new procedures. Knowing the contents of a container before it is loaded onto a ship bound for the U.S. is a critical part of our efforts to guard against the terrorist threat."