Subtraction by Addition: The 10+2 Proposal

By August 20, 2008Trade

Good piece in the Detroit News about a U.S. Customs proposal that would increase costs of shipping while doing little to improve security. From “Business fights new rules for imports“:

WASHINGTON — Automakers and major business groups are mounting a spirited effort to convince the Bush Administration to soften a proposal that would require the collection of detailed information about imports to the United States.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bureau wants shippers to collect 10 new categories of data for U.S.-bound cargo 24 hours before it’s loaded on ships in foreign countries, as well as to provide data about the physical location of cargo aboard a U.S.-bound vessel and status messages that report container movements. The agency, known as CBP, proposed the so-called “10+2” rule in January, but has been working on it for nearly six years. It wants to issue a final regulation by November.

The CBP says the rule is needed to prevent a nightmare scenario such as importation of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists.

Automakers say the rule could upset the delicate “just in time” shipping of parts to arrive at auto factories as they are needed for vehicle production, which saves the companies the cost of stockpiling parts. They also could be required to declare their shipments up to five days in advance because of cumbersome reporting requirements. The automakers argue the rules would do little to make the country safer.

The story notes the efforts led by the National Association of Manufacturers to seek some reasonable balance on the proposal. In July, the NAM was among 40 trade groups writing a letter to Congress suggests an alternative pilot program for “10+2.”

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