US Customs Manifests

All shipments arriving in the United States  must be manifested with Customs whether they arrive via boat, air, truck, railroad, or even pipeline.

The process varies slightly between modes, but the concept remains identical.  The carrier is providing to Customs a list of all shipments they are discharging or bringing in to the United States.

The essential components of all manifests are as follows:

Aircraft, Vessel, or Truck Identification number

Date of Arrival

Flight or Voyage Number

Port of Arrival

Location of Where Goods are available for Inspection (such as container terminal, air terminal, or truck inspection location at a border location).  This is called the Firms Code

For each shipment the carrier must report:

Master Bill of Lading

House Bill of Lading (if relevant)

Pieces, Weight

Commodity Description

Depending on mode, there are additional requirements, but above we have described the basics.

When a customs entry is filed it must be properly associated with the manifest, meaning there must be a match of key components

For example let's say a truck arrives at the Mexico California Border and our  shipment is manifested as follows:

Bill of Lading  45332

House Bill of Lading   4533202

Pieces    50 Cartons

Now,  lets say our shipment has 500 pieces packed inside 50 cartons

Our entry must indicate BOL 45332, HBOL 4533202, and it must have a quantity count of 50.  

If we input all of these numbers correctly, our shipment will post properly against the manifest once Customs accepts our entry and we can pick it up without delay.

On the other hand, if we  leave out the house bill on our entry, or enter a quantity of 500 to match the piece count, it will not post properly against the manifest,  and we will be delayed in pickup up our shipment until the situation is resolved.

For each line on a manifest, an entry must be filed against it within 15 days or the subject merchandise will be seized by Customs through a process they call General Order or GO.

Further, most terminals charge very high storage fees if merchandise remains at the terminal beyond a limited number of free days.

It is important to be able to verify proper manifest information to avoid such situations.

If you need more information about manifests, please contact Los Angeles Customs Brokers.