eCommerce shipments are exploding in the US with the proliferation of online shopping.  Every day almost 2 million ecommerce shipments arrive in the US which has put a strain on CBP being able to continue to enforce its regulations while continuing to maintain the clearance speeds that importers have grown accustomed to.

CBP needs additional data to facilitate the clearance of eCommerce shipments including;

  • Contents of the package
  • Final recipient
  • Security scan image (airfreight)
  • Enhanced product description
  • Seller name & address
  • The listed price on the online marketplace
  • Product picture
  • Known customer flag

The section 321 data pilot will act as a “known shipper” program similar to the Nexus and Global Entry program which is used to facilitate passenger travelers.  By sending the additional details above, CBP can focus their efforts on other carriers who do not submit these additional details.

If you consider a highway carrier moving large volumes of section 321 shipments might be stopped at the border each day for 2 hours so CBP can conduct radom inspections of the cargo. Taking the effort to collect and submit this additional data can reap large rewards in time and cost-savings.  A carrier sitting idle at the border each day for inspections adds up to thousands of dollars spent waiting for CBP to conduct inspections.

The following entities may participate in the Section 321 Data Pilot

  • Carrier
  • Freight Forwarder
  • Online Marketplace

Participation in the pilot will potentially help CBP expedite the clearance of eCommerce shipments by creating a future “green lane” for companies submitting the additional data.  Having a voice early on in the process is important for eCommerce companies.