Data from ocean shipments transiting through the U.S. can be made public

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not “directly” disclose the names of importers and exporters to the public.

However, there are a number of private sector media services that are permitted by the “privacy statute,” 19 CFR 103.31 to collect manifest data at every port of entry. “Reporters” collect and publish names of importers and exporters from vessel manifest data unless an importer/shipper requests confidentiality.

The “reporter” companies then sell the information to any interested party.

Canadian importers and exporters are not immune as this also applies to goods that are in transit through a U.S. port, such as an ocean shipment from China to Toronto transiting through a harbour on the U.S. west coast.

Importers or exporters, including Canadian companies, can submit a request for confidential treatment to CBP’s Privacy Branch.

For additional information see: U.S. CBP Electronic Vessel Manifest Confidentiality

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