It is the advanced declaration of cargo vessel manifest information to US Customs, previously only required 48 hours before arrival first USA calling port.


As part of the US Homeland Security initiative, US Customs drastically changed their customs procedures. They now require all shipments destined for the USA or passing thru the USA or “remaining on board a vessel calling the USA first before calling another foreign port”, to be filed via AMS directly with U.S. Customs 24 hours before mother vessels depart origin loading ports. We will be required to either file our manifest information directly with US Customs via an AMS system, or turn over all our pertinent shipment information to the carriers to file on our behalf.

What is AMS?

It is the advanced declaration of cargo vessel manifest information to US Customs, previously only required 48 hours before arrival first USA calling port.

Why 24 hour advance filing?

US Customs hopes that with the advanced notification they will be able to reject shipment at origin before allowing them to physically call the USA and so to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks on the USA through commercial channels.

What is a SCAC code?

It is the “standard carrier alpha code.”

What’s required?

- Shipper’s and consignee’s complete names and ad dresses.
- Precise description of cargo, including weight and piece count.
- Port where the cargo is loaded.
- Last foreign port before the vessel departs for the U.S.
- Vessel name, number, country of documentation, Stan
dard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC), and voyage number.
- Scheduled date of arrival at first U.S. port.
- First foreign port where the carrier takes possession of cargo.
- Hazardous material code.
- Container number.
- Container seal number -serial number of last seal ap plied when the container is loaded