Shippers are asking why carriers are making the introduction of the new EU security rules such an onerous business, says Shippers' Voice managing partner Andrew Traill. Some carriers are asking for the freight data five days in advance of loading (when the EU requires it only 24 hours in advance for sea freight).
One North American shipper of temperature-controlled cargo has been faced with the carrier demanding the information, including the container number and seal details, before that carrier has even delivered the container to the shipper for loading.
"I guess we're supposed to make up the container numbers! Also, one of these carriers has gone so far as to require government health certificate numbers by the same cut-off date despite the reality that empty containers may not even be released for loading by their documentation cut-off date and government regulators certainly aren't going to issue OMIC certificates before cargo is containerised."
The EU's advanced trade data rules requires that an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) be submitted to EU authorities 24hrs before cargo loading.
It is apparent that some carriers (and it is suggested to be European carriers) are threatening the imposition of charges (or "fines" as the shipper in question termed it) levied by the carrier, if the shippers exporting to the EU do not supply them with a complete ocean bill of lading (OBL) including the container number and seal by an arbitrary deadline set by the carriers themselves.
Thus far the shipper from North America has only experienced this from a couple of the lines he deals with. He comments that this probably "says more about how different carriers cope with tackling the same problems".
He suggests that shippers will be forced to look for carriers with less 'silly' demands.
Andrew Traill says: "Shippers' Voice is curious to know if other shippers were experiencing similar impractical demands from carriers (air or sea), or whether this is merely a situation unique to just a few shippers and one or two carriers."
"Given that the data and regulations are similar to the requirements for cargo entering the US, it is surprising to see these problems."