19 CFR 18.4 - Sealing conveyances, compartments, and containers.

§ 18.4 Sealing conveyances, compartments, and containers.

(a)Requirements, waiver, and TIR carnets -

(1)Seals required. Conveyance, compartments, or containers transporting in-bond merchandise must be sealed and the seals must remain intact until the merchandise arrives at the port of destination or the port of exportation. The seals to be used and the method for sealing conveyances, compartments, or containers must meet the requirements of §§ 24.13 and 24.13a of this chapter.

(2)Waiver.

(i) CBP may waive the sealing of a conveyance, compartment, or container in which bonded merchandise is transported if CBP determines that the sealing of the conveyance, compartment, or container is unnecessary to protect the revenue or to prevent violations of the customs laws and regulations.

(ii) Examples of situations where CBP may waive the waiver of the sealing requirement are when the conveyance, compartment, or container cannot be effectively sealed, as in the case of merchandise shipped in open cars or barges or on the decks of vessels, when it is known that any seals would necessarily be removed outside the jurisdiction of the United States for the purpose of discharging or taking on cargo, or when it is known that the breaking of the seals will be necessary to ventilate the hatches.

(3)TIR carnets. The port director will cause a CBP seal to be affixed to a container or road vehicle that is being used to transport merchandise under cover of a TIR carnet unless the container or road vehicle bears a customs seal (domestic or foreign). The port director will likewise cause a CBP seal or label to be affixed to heavy or bulky goods being so transported. If, however, the port director has reason to believe that there is a discrepancy between the merchandise listed on the Goods Manifest of the carnet and the merchandise that is to be transported, the port director may cause a CBP seal or label to be affixed only when the listing of the merchandise in the carnet and a physical inventory agree.

(b)Commingled merchandise -

(1)Transported in a sealed conveyance, compartment, or container. Merchandise that is not covered by a bond may be trans ported in a sealed conveyance, compartment, or container that contains bonded merchandise if the merchandise is destined for the same or subsequent port as the bonded merchandise.

(2)Transported in a conveyance, compartment, or container that is not sealed. Merchandise that is not covered by a bond may be transported with bonded merchandise in a conveyance, compartment, or container that is not sealed, if the in-bond merchandise is corded and sealed, or affixed with a warning label or tag as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(3)Warning label or tag -

(i)Warning label. The required warning label for in-bond merchandise described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, must be on bright red paper, not less than 5 by 8 inches in size, unless the size of the package renders the use of a 5 by 8 inch warning label impracticable because of lack of space; then a 3 by 5 inch label may be used. Alternatively, a high visibility, permanently affixed warning label, whether as a continuous series in tape form or otherwise, but not less than 1 1/2 by 3 inches, and not to be removed until the in-bond movement is completed, may be used on any size package. The warning label must contain the following words in black or white lettering of a conspicuous size:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

This package is under bond and must be delivered intact to the CBP officer in charge at the port of destination or to such other place as authorized by CBP.

Warning. Two years' imprisonment, a fine, or both, is the penalty for unlawful removal of this package or any of its contents.

(ii)Tag. When it is impossible to attach the warning label by pasting, a bright red shipping tag of convenient size, large enough to be conspicuous and containing the same legend as the label, shall be used in lieu of a label. Such tag shall be wired or otherwise securely fastened to the packages in such manner as not to damage the merchandise.

(4)Merchandise transported under carnet. Merchandise moving under cover of a carnet may not be consolidated with other merchandise.

(c)Removal and replacement of seals. If it becomes necessary at any point in transit to remove seals from a conveyance, compartment, or container containing bonded merchandise for the purpose of transferring its contents to another conveyance, compartment, or container, or to gain access to the shipment because of casualty or for other good reason, such as when required by law enforcement or another government agency, a responsible agent of the carrier may remove the seals, supervise the transfer or handling of the merchandise, and seal the conveyance, compartment, or container in which the shipment goes forward. Updated seal numbers must be transmitted to CBP pursuant to § 18.1(h) and general recordkeeping requirements under 19 CFR part 163 apply.

(d)Containers or road vehicles accepted for transport under customs seal; requirements. (1)(i) Containers covered by the Customs Convention on Containers. Containers covered by the Customs Convention on Containers will be accepted for transport under customs seal if:

(A) Durably marked with the name and address of the owner, particulars of tare, and identification marks and numbers, and

(B) Constructed and equipped as outlined in Annex 1 to the Customs Convention on Containers, as evidenced by an accompanying unexpired certificate of approval in the form prescribed by Annex 2 to that Convention or by a metal plate showing design type approval by a competent authority.

(ii)Containers carrying merchandise covered by a TIR carnet. Containers carrying merchandise covered by a TIR carnet will be accepted for transport under customs seal if:

(A) Durably marked with the name and address of the owner, particulars of tare, and identification marks and numbers,

(B) Constructed and equipped as outlined in Annex 6 to the TIR Convention, as evidenced by an accompanying unexpired certificate of approval in the form prescribed by Annex 8 to that Convention, or by a metal plate showing design type approval by a competent authority, and

(C) If the container or road vehicle hauling the container has affixed to it a rectangular plate bearing the letters “TIR” in accordance with Article 31 of the TIR Convention.

(2)Road vehicles carrying merchandise covered by a TIR carnet. Road vehicles carrying merchandise covered by a TIR carnet will be accepted for transport under customs seal if:

(i) Durably marked with the name and address of the owner, particulars of tare, and identification marks and numbers,

(ii) Constructed and equipped as outlined in Annex 3 to the TIR Convention, as evidenced by an accompanying unexpired certificate of approval in the form prescribed by Annex 5 to that Convention, or by a metal plate showing design type approval by a competent authority, and

(iii) If the road vehicle has affixed to it a rectangular plate bearing the letters “TIR” in accordance with Article 31 of the TIR Convention.

(3)CBP refusal. The port director may refuse to accept for transport under customs seal a container or road vehicle bearing evidence of approval if, in the port director's opinion, the container or road vehicle no longer meets the requirements of the applicable Convention.

(4)CBP acceptance for transport. Containers or road vehicles that are not approved under the provisions of a Customs Convention may be accepted for transport under customs seal only if the port director at the origination port is satisfied that the container or road vehicle can be effectively sealed and no goods can be removed from or introduced into the container or road vehicle without obvious damage to it or without breaking the seal. A container or road vehicle so accepted shall not carry merchandise covered by a TIR carnet.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code