DHS eases rule on imports

The National Association of Manufacturers is hailing new flexibilities in the rule, which could have had a negative effect on computer makers, but says further modifications are needed.

The Homeland Security Department’s interim final rule to improve the security of maritime cargo is not as onerous as what computer and other manufacturers feared based on the original version proposed in January, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has said.

The Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements, the so-called 10+2 rule, would require importers to file 10 additional pieces of data and carriers to file two more forms before loading maritime cargo bound for the United States.

DHS submitted the interim final rule for publication in the Nov. 25 Federal Register; it will take effect in 60 days.

When DHS proposed the original version of the rule, makers of computers, software and related devices said it could make the products more expensive and difficult to bring into the United States.

However, among other changes, the interim final rule establishes a six-month test of how companies could supply the new information and allows U.S. manufacturers to provide the most difficult data on a best-available basis, NAM President John Engler said Nov. 25 in a news release.

Although those changes are likely to ease implementation of the rule, the outcome will depend on how U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) interprets the new flexibilities, NAM said, adding that further modifications to the rule will likely be needed.

“While the rule is substantially changed, work still has to be done to create a final rule that works for both national security and U.S. manufacturers,” Engler said. “Even though the modifications alleviate onerous burdens, some serious problems still have not been corrected in the interim rule published today.”

CBP officials said they made several changes to the proposed rule based on feedback from the public.

“The interim final rule includes a delayed compliance date of 12 months after the interim final rule takes effect,” the agency said in a news release. “During this 12-month period, CBP will show restraint in enforcing the rule. CBP will take into account difficulties that importers may face in complying with the rule as long as importers are making a good-faith effort and satisfactory progress toward compliance.”

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