The Automated Manifest System, most often referred to as AMS, is an electronic transmission system for documentation to U.S. Customs before cargo arrives in the U.S. Originally, the system was deployed to reduce the time it takes to import cargo to the U.S., but more recently it has been used to keep cargo under inspection to ensure safety of U.S. imported goods. Without meeting all necessary AMS customs requirements for documents and deadlines, you could end up paying a ton of fines and having your cargo held at customs; you could be charged up to $10,000 per instance of violation. All that said, filing all necessary AMS documents should be an easy and quick process if you know what you need and when you need it. Here is a checklist of items to make sure you report to AMS before your cargo arrives in the U.S.
AMS Customs Requirements and Checklist
- Shipper’s and consignee’s complete names and addresses.
- A precise description of cargo, including weight and piece count.
- Port where the cargo is loaded.
- Last foreign port before the vessel departs for the U.S.
- Vessel name, number, country of documentation, Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC), and voyage number.
- Scheduled date of arrival at first U.S. port.
- First foreign port where the carrier takes possession of cargo.
- Hazardous material code.
- Container number.
- Container seal number -serial number of the last seal applied when the container is loaded
Keep in mind that any failure to submit these details to AMS could leave you in a bad situation with U.S. Customs and cost your company tons of money. All documentation and details need to be given to AMS 24 hours in advance to when your cargo comes arrives at the border. Be sure to also read up on ISF Filing and Customs Bonds if you plan on importing goods to the United States.
If you are planning on or currently importing to the U.S. and want to learn more about the subject, give our team at Interlog USA a call! We would be happy to answer all of your questions!