10+2 Doesn’t Add Up…Yet

By July 21, 2008Trade

From The Hill blog, a post by the NAM’s Catherine Robinson, associate director for high technology trade policy, “New Customs Plan Would Cost Manufacturers $20 Billion.”

[The] the latest proposal from U.S. Customs as a prime example of a well-intentioned but economy-damaging proposal. It’s the “10+2 proposal” – called that because it requires U.S. importers to collect 10 new categories of data on U.S. bound shipments 24 hours before loading in foreign ports. That’s a lot of information requiring a lot of time to collect, and the plan has caused great concern among U.S. companies that rely on imported products, parts and components.

Forty trade associations this week, including the NAM, sent a letter to the Hill questioning the Customs’ plan. We contend that the new regulations will cost U.S. manufacturers and companies more than $20 billion annually, not even taking into account the millions of dollars each company will be forced to invest in new business operations. (The letter is available here.)

Motivated by legitimate homeland security concerns, Customs seems intent on imposing this untested program in one fell swoop. Yet importers have serious doubts that the move will in fact improve port security. Indeed, the proposed rule creates new security threats by lengthening the time containers are kept at foreign ports before being exported, a two- to five-day period that provides more opportunity for tampering. Freight at rest is freight at risk.

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