19 CFR § 103.31 - Information on vessel manifests and summary statistical reports.
(a) Disclosure to members of the press. Accredited representatives of the press, including newspapers, commercial magazines, trade journals, and similar publications shall be permitted to examine vessel manifests and summary statistical reports of imports and exports and to copy therefrom for publication information and data subject to the following rules:
(1) Of the information and data appearing on outward manifests, only the name and address of the shipper, general character of the cargo, number of packages and gross weight, name of vessel or carrier, port of exit, port of destination, and country of destination may be copied and published. However, if the Secretary of the Treasury makes an affirmative finding on a shipment-by-shipment basis that disclosure of the above information is likely to pose a threat of personal injury or property damage, that information shall not be disclosed to the public.
(2) Commercial or financial information, such as the names of the consignees, and marks and numbers shall not be copied from outward manifests or any other papers.
(3) All the information appearing on the cargo declaration (CBP Form 1302) of the inward vessel manifest may be copied and published. However, if the Secretary of the Treasury makes an affirmative finding on a shipment-by-shipment basis that the disclosure of the information contained on the cargo declaration is likely to pose a threat of personal injury or property damage, that information shall not be disclosed to the press.
(b) Review of data. All copies and notations from inward or outward manifests shall be submitted for examination by a CBP officer designated for that purpose.
(c) Disclosure to the public. Members of the public shall not be permitted to examine vessel manifests. However, they may request and obtain from CBP, information from vessel manifests, subject to the rules set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. However, importers and exporters, or their duly authorized brokers, attorneys, or agents may be permitted to examine manifests with respect to any consignment of goods in which they have a proper and legal interest as principal or agent, but shall not be permitted to make any general examination of manifests or make any copies or notations from them except with reference to the particular importation or exportation in which they have a proper and legal interest.
(d) Confidential treatment -
(1) Inward manifest. An importer or consignee may request confidential treatment of its name and address contained in inward manifests, to include identifying marks and numbers. In addition, an importer or consignee may request confidential treatment of the name and address of the shipper or shippers to such importer or consignee by using the following procedure:
(i) An importer or consignee, or authorized employee, attorney or official of the importer or consignee, must submit a certification (as described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section) claiming confidential treatment of its name and address. The name and address of an importer or consignee includes marks and numbers which reveal the name and address of the importer or consignee. An importer or consignee may file a certification requesting confidentiality for all its shippers.
(ii) There is no prescribed format for a certification. However, the certification shall include the importer's or consignee's Internal Revenue Service Employer Number, if available. There is no requirement to provide sufficient facts to support the conclusion that the disclosure of the names and addresses would likely cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the importer or consignee.
(iii) The certification must be submitted to the Vessel Manifest Program Manager, Office of Trade (Mail Stop 1354), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1801 N Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311; or submitted electronically via an email transmission at email@example.com or via the Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Online Application on CBP's public website, www.CBP.gov.
(iv) Each initial certification will be valid for a period of two years from the date of receipt. Renewal certifications should be submitted to the Vessel Manifest Program Manager at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the current certification. Information so certified may be copied, but not published, by the press during the effective period of the certification. An importer or consignee shall be given written notification by CBP of the receipt of its certification of confidentiality.
(2) Outward manifest. If a shipper wishes to request confidential treatment by Customs of the shipper's name and address contained in an outward manifest, the following procedure shall be followed:
(i) A shipper, or authorized employee or official of the shipper, must submit a certification claiming confidential treatment of the shipper's name and address. The certification shall include the shipper's Internal Revenue Service Employer Number, if available.
(ii) There is no prescribed format for a certification.
(iii) The certification must be submitted to the Vessel Manifest Program Manager, Office of Trade (Mail Stop 1354), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1801 N Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311; or submitted electronically via an email transmission at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Online Application on the CBP's public website, www.CBP.gov.
(iv) Each certification will be valid for a period of two (2) years from the date of its approval.
(3) If any individual shall abuse the privilege granted him to examining inward and outward manifests or shall make any improper use of any information or data obtained from such manifests or other papers filed in the customhouse, both he and the party or publication which he represents shall thereafter be denied access to such papers.
(e) Availability of manifest data on CD-ROMS -
(1) Availability. Manifest data acquired from the Automated Manifest System (AMS) is available to interested members of the public on CD-ROMS. This data, compiled daily, will contain all manifest transactions made on the nationwide system within the last 24 hour period. Data for which parties have requested confidential treatment in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section will not be included on the CD-ROMS. These CD-ROMS may be purchased at the government's production cost. CD-ROMS are available for specific days or on a subscription basis.
(2) Requests and subscriptions. Requests for CD-ROMS must be in writing and submitted to: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, National Finance Center, Collections Section, P.O. Box 68907, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268, or 6026 Lakeside Blvd., Indianapolis, Indiana 46278. Requests must include a check to cover the cost of the CD-ROMS requested. Actual costs and other specific information should be ascertained by contacting the Collections Section at (317) 614-4514. Bills for subscriptions will be issued monthly, with the first month's fee due in advance. Requested CD-ROMS will be mailed from the CBP Technology Support Center, first class, on the next business day after compilation. Parties desiring another form of delivery will have to make their own arrangements and notify CBP in advance. Subscriptions may be canceled provided CBP receives written notice at least 10 days prior to the end of the month. The CBP Technology Support Center must be notified in writing within seven days of technical problems with CD-ROMS or non-receipt of CD-ROMS in order to receive a replacement or credit towards future tape purchases. Refunds will not be provided. Information regarding the technical specifications of the CD-ROMS, problem CD-ROMS or the non-receipt of CD-ROMS should be directed to CBP Technology Support Center at 1-800-927-8729.
(3) Data elements. The following are the data elements from the AMS manifest which will be provided to the public via CD-ROMS:
1. Carrier code.
2. Vessel country code.
3. Vessel name.
4. Voyage number.
5. District/port of unlading.
6. Estimated arrival date.
7. Bill of lading number.
8. Foreign port of lading.
9. Manifest quantity.
10. Manifest units.
12. Weight unit.
13. Shipper name. 1
1 Designates data element which will be deleted where confidentiality has been requested.
14. Shipper address. 1
15. Consignee name. 1
16. Consignee address. 1
17. Notify party name. 1
18. Notify party address. 1
19. Piece count.
20. Description of goods.
21. Container number.
22. Seal number.