19 CFR 4.38 - Release of cargo.
(a) No imported merchandise shall be released from Customs custody until a permit to release such merchandise has been granted. Such permit shall be issued by the port director only after the merchandise has been entered and, except as provided for in § 141.102(d) or part 142 of this chapter, the duties thereon, if any, have been estimated and paid. Generally, the permit shall consist of a document authorizing delivery of a particular shipment or an electronic equivalent. Alternatively, the permit may consist of a report which lists those shipments which have been authorized for release. This alternative cargo release notification may be used when the manifest is not filed by the carrier through the Automated Manifest System, the entry has been filed through the Automated Broker Interface, and Customs has approved the cargo for release without submission of paper documents after reviewing the entry data submitted electronically through ABI and its selectivity criteria (see § 143.34). The report shall be posted in a conspicuous area to which the public has access in the customhouse at the port of entry where the cargo was imported.
(1) Where the cargo arrives by vessel, the report shall consist of the following data elements:
(i) Vessel name or code, if transmitted by the entry filer;
(ii) Carrier code;
(iii) Voyage number, if transmitted by the entry filer;
(iv) Bill of lading number;
(v) Quantity released; and
(vi) Entry number (including filer code).
(2) Where the cargo arrives by air, the report shall consist of the following data elements:
(i) Air waybill number;
(ii) Quantity released;
(iii) Entry number (including filer code);
(iv) Carrier code; and
(v) Flight number, if transmitted by the entry filer.
(3) In the case of merchandise traveling via in-bond movement, the report will contain the following data elements:
(i) Immediate transportation bond number;
(ii) Carrier code;
(iii) Quantity released; and
(iv) Entry number (including filer code).
(b) When packages of merchandise bear marks or numbers which differ from those appearing on the Cargo Declaration, Customs Form 1302, of the importing vessel for the same packages and the importer or a receiving bonded carrier, with the concurrence of the importing carrier, makes application for their release under such marks or numbers, either for consumption or for transportation in bond under an entry filed therefor at the port of discharge from the importing vessel, the port director may approve the application upon condition that (1) the contents of the packages be identified with an invoice or transportation entry as set forth below and (2) the applicant furnish at his own expense any bonded cartage or lighterage service which the granting of the application may require. The application shall be in writing in such number of copies as may be required for local Customs purposes. Before permitting delivery of packages under such an application, the port director shall cause such examination thereof to be made as will reasonably identify the contents with the invoice filed with the consumption entry. If the merchandise is entered for transportation in bond without the filing of an invoice, such examination shall be made as will reasonably identify the contents of the packages with the transportation entry.
(c) If the port director determines that, in a port or portion of a port, the volume of cargo handled, the incidence of theft or pilferage, or any other factor related to the protection of merchandise in Customs custody requires such measures, he shall require as a condition to the granting of a permit to release imported merchandise that the importer or his agent present to the carrier or his agent a fully executed pickup order in substantially the following format, in triplicate, to obtain delivery of any imported merchandise:
(d) When the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section are invoked by the port director and verification of delivered quantities by Customs is required, a permit to release merchandise shall be effective as a release from Customs custody at the time that the delivery of the merchandise covered by the pickup order into the physical possession of a subsequent carrier or an importer or the agent of either is completed under the supervision of a Customs officer, and only to the extent of the actual delivery of merchandise described in such pickup order as verified by such Customs officer.