Shippers get tough over new cargo rules

Copenhagen, Denmark: Maersk Line has warned its customers that failure to comply with new EU regulations (supplying Customs data in advance) will lead to fines and could mean that their cargo will not be loaded.

The new regulations, requiring cargo information 24 hours before shipment, came into force on 1 January, but for the first six months, compliance was not strictly enforced, to allow companies time to get used to them.

However, from 1 July, the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) regulation will be fully enforced, meaning carriers will refuse to load cargo if the requirements are not met. The new regulation allows EU Customs to perform a security risk assessment before goods enter the EU.

It requires that shipping companies receive an ENS – which includes information such as the bill of lading number and shipper and consignee name and address – 24 hours before loading the cargo on a vessel that will call at an EU port, or, for shortsea traffic, two hours before entry at its first EU port.

It applies to all goods brought into EU customs territory, cargo transhipped via an EU port – even if it has a non-EU final destination – or cargo remaining on board a vessel calling en-route at an EU port.

Maersk Line warned customers: “The European Customs Advanced Manifest rule will be strictly enforced from 1 July and failure to comply may lead to penalties and/or fines. “We would like to emphasise to our customers the importance of submitting the Transport Document Instructions (TDIs) in accordance with the deadlines established by local Maersk Line offices as the information is submitted to the EU member states’ Customs.”

“Failure to submit the shipping instructions in time will lead to cargo not being loaded.

“For shortsea shipments, cargo arriving to EU ports without a timely lodged ENS could prevent cargo being accepted for discharge or put on hold at EU entry port, fines and/or penalties could as well be imposed by customs.”

RCL Agencies told its customers cargo in non-compliance would not be loaded onto the vessel and extra charges would be applied.

Several shipping lines introduced surcharges at the start of the year to offset the cost of implementing the regulation.

Maersk Line introduced a Cargo Data Declaration fee of US$25 per bill of lading, CMA CGM is introducing a documentation charge of $25 per bill of lading for containerised traffic, while European feeder operator Unifeeder said it would add €23 ($30) per bill of lading.