Current plans to identify ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’ before vessel loading could lead to disclosure of sensitive business information, claim carrier, forwarder and cargo-owner representatives, according to the World Shipping Council (WSC).
Latest European Commission amendments to the EU advance cargo data reporting requirements scheduled for adoption later this year need further clarification. The WSC along with shipper and forwarder representatives is opposing the Commission’s proposals in their current form.
The Commission is now in the final stages of completing its proposals for advance cargo data reporting requirements as part of the implementation of the new Union Customs Code which is scheduled to be adopted in May and could then take effect as early as May 1, 2016. But the WSC claims that the Commission’s efforts to find a short-cut way of obtaining the identity of the ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’ of the imported goods before vessel loading could lead to the disclosure of sensitive business information.
Instead of getting it from the importer, like the US does, the Commission has proposed regulation that would require this information be provided to the carrier or NVOCC, or in the alternative, to the ‘consignee’, to be filed in an ENS (entry summary declaration) as a condition of vessel loading.
Based on their understanding and experience with shippers, the WSC has advised the Commission that ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’ data may be business-confidential information, and that it is not appropriate to require its disclosure to ocean carriers/NVOCCs or to these parties’ consignees, who may not be parties to the goods’ sales contract.
The WSC also noted that carriers’ current documentation systems had no data fields to capture this information. The Council has been joined by the European Shippers’ Council, the European freight forwarders’ association (CLECAT) and the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA) in opposing the Commission’s proposals.
If the regulation is implemented as proposed, exporters to the EU should recognize that they will be required to provide the identity of the buyers of their goods to their carrier or NVOCC or to their consignees prior to vessel loading, so that this information could be provided by the carrier or NVOCC in its required advance ENS filing. Source: LloydsLoading
For more detailed information in this regard refer to the World Shipping Council’s website – Advance Cargo Shipment Data
I would imagine what eventually happens here is a system similar to the United States, but I’m not as familiar with EU policies.
U.S. customs has a “privacy branch” where you can request that the information on your vessel manifests not be disclosed. The requests are almost always granted, upon which your information is confidential for two years. After the initial two year period, you can request a renewal of confidentiality to extend confidentiality for another two years, and there is no limit on the number of renewal requests you can make.