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AMS filing- Automated Manifest System

What is AMS meaning in shipping?

AMS-Automated Manifest System is the manifesting system in U.S ports. This is also identified as U.S Customs 24-Hour manifesting rule. Under the system, any cargo route via a U.S port/destination is U.S port should declare the cargo details 24 hr prior to loading from loading port to the U.S customs.  By transmitting data electronically filling can do prior cargo loading.

With the 9/11th incident, the U.S has imposed this rule for the safety and security of the country. U.S customs expect to identify the possible threats from cargo with the implication.

This rule is only applicable to the containerised cargo. Failing to submit the AMS can cause penalties on the filer.

Who is responsible for AMS Filing?

Carrier and NVOCC/ Freight Forwarder should file the AMS

For What Cargo AMS Should File?

  • For all the shipments which will discharge in the U.S
  • For all the cargo which will be loaded to a vessel route via the U.S. This cargo also calls as “Freight remain Onboard” (FROB) as cargo will not discharge in U.S port yet will be onboard.

What is Holds in AMS Filing?

After manifest submitted and accepted by the AMS, U.S customs may inspect the details and inform to hold the cargo loading. In such, all the cargo under the hold BL cannot load until receive the green light from U.S customs.

What is the Container Security Initiative (C.S.I)?

The Container Security Initiative is also another measurement by the U.S customs to improve the security of the U.S bound containerised cargo. Here, the U.S work together with the governments of other countries to identify high-risk container before loading from the loading port.

The U.S has provided the container screening machines to the selected port for pre-scanning. If find something suspicious, have to inform to the U.S authorised officers to further investigate on the cargo.

What are C.S.I Ports?

C.S.I ports are the ports which do the container pre-scanning. Some C.S.I ports in the world are as below

  • Antwerp – Belgium
  • Colombo – Sri Lanka
  • Dubai – UAE
  • Genoa – Italy
  • Gothenburg – Sweden
  • Hamburg – Germany
  • Laem Chabang – Thailand
  • Port Klang- Malaysia
  • Rotterdam – Netherlands
  • Yokohama, Nagoya – Japan

What Details should include in AMS?

  • BL number
  • Shipper’s name/ address
  • Consignee’s name/address
  • Notify party name/address
  • Shipping line
  • Vessel
  • Voyage
  • Cargo description and type
  • No of packages
  • Weight and measurement
  • Marks and numbers
  • Hazardous goods
  • Container and seal number
  • Vessel route

It is important to remember; you cannot mention the cargo type as:

  • F.A.K – Freight All Kind
  • General Cargo
  • Chemicals
  • Car part
  • Foodstuff

Once the AMS filled, cargo importer must submit the ISF (Importer Security Filling) to the U.S customs. ISF includes the cargo details. Until AMS is filed, the consignee is unable to file the ISF.

What are the Drawbacks in AMS Filling?

  • U.S customs and border protection body is only available during U.S business Hours
  • AMS filing is doing by the agents in the loading port. This will increase the workload of transhipment ports as a lot of U.S bound cargo load from transhipment ports. Further, transhipment port has to get the details for AMS filing from the origin port.
  • If a cargo hold, all the cargo under the BL same as the hold cargo should be held. This is a burden for the non-hold cargo owners.
  • If a BL is amended or change the loading vessel due to the planned vessel omitting the port, AMS have to file again and 24 Hr rule will re-apply. So, have to be on alert as it can cause penalties if U.S customs have not recognised it as a resubmission.


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