USMEF has surveyed its exporter members and is monitoring an issue involving container inspections by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and foreign countries that require a seal number on export documentation. CBP inspects a percentage of containers (some containing meat) and in some instances has placed a new CBP seal on the container without notifying the ocean carrier. When notification of the seal change is not given to those handling the export documents, it creates discrepancies on export certificates and shipping documentation. This can result in containers being detained or rejected at their ports of destination, especially containers arriving in China.
CBP has been made aware of this issue and is currently in the process of issuing additional guidance to all ports, which will include a specific standardized notification process. But please note that even when CBP provides the updated seal number information to the carrier, it is still up to the carrier and/or exporter to update the container seal information on the manifest and export documentation. If you have questions or have had loads detained or rejected due to lack of notification of a CBP inspection, please email Paul Clayton or Lindsay Cammel, or call 303-623-6328.