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Nationwide Expansion of Faster Customs Clearance for US Ocean Imports

C-TPAT Certified for Faster Customs Clearance for US Ocean Imports

Customs and Border Protection will be expanding a pilot program giving pre-clearance to shipments from four test ports to every port in the nation. Shipping companies in good standing with C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) can request for pre-clearance of cargo prior to their estimated arrival, rather than requiring vessels to wait for Customs officers to board and clear a boat before unloading. This should increase ship turn times, and create savings in labor and other expenses, by allowing the terminal to start working the ship upon arrival.

“This (program) reduces the amount of time the vessel is in standby after arriving at berth and expedites the cargo unlading process to help ensure that shipments are delivered on time to their final destinations,” the organization said in a FAQ on the AQUA (Advanced Qualified Unlading Approval) program.

Originally in Oakland, Baltimore, Everglades and New Orleans, on September 15, 2016 the AQUA program was extended to:

  • Miami
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • New York-New Jersey
  • Savannah
  • Seattle
  • Tacoma

Customs projects a December 2016 expansion of the AQUA program into:

  • Boston
  • Charleston
  • Houston
  • Jacksonville
  • Honolulu
  • Norfolk
  • Philadelphia
  • San Juan
  • Wilmington, Delaware
  • Wilmington, North Carolina

US Customs plans to make the AQUA program accessible at whatever is left of the country’s ports in February 2017. Sea carriers will be able to better anticipate unloading times, improving efficiency and allocation of labor and resources, allowing CFR Classic and other major shipping companies to see faster customs clearance of their containers.

CFR Classic has been C-TPAT Certified since 2015.

In order to participate in pre-clearance, ship operators have to request approval 24 hours before arrival in port, and also be a C-TPAT member. As a C-TPAT certified facility, CFR Classic passes on these benefits to customers, including fewer customs examinations, lower examination costs, front-of-the-line processing if there is an examination, expedited trade processing and mutual recognition in multiple countries CFR Classic ships to. In addition, CFR’s expert shipping agents will assist customers through every step of the customs clearance process.

Sources: Journal of Commerce. US Customs and Border Protection.

Joey has spent his entire teen and adult life in cars. Joey's father owned a Jeep store, and Joey had his own used car lot that he ran himself from age 22 until I was 30. At 30 years old, Joey got "out of" the car business and joined CFR Rinkens. Joey started when there were only 9 people at CFR, but the company grew to over 150 employees during his time there. When Joey started, CFR Rinkens was shipping about 40 vehicles per week from Los Angeles. Joey established locations in Houston, Miami, and New York and within the first year, CFR went to shipping 150 cars per week. Joey started as a customer service rep and later moved up to sales manager, operations manager, and marketing manager. Joey then moved to Europe for two years and spent the entire time traveling through Europe meeting with clients. In 2022, Joey and his partners purchased CFR Classic from CFR Rinkens and he returned to California to watch over the operation more closely.

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