EU Customs Fee and Rules Begin Jan. 1

EU Customs Fee and Rules Begin Jan. 1

Ocean container carriers will levy an average fee of $25 per bill of lading for all cargo entering the European Union in 2011 when the bloc’s advanced manifest rule comes into effect.

Under the new rules, which go into effect at midnight on Jan. 1, 2011, carriers must submit an entry summary declaration to the first port of call in the EU at least 24 hours before cargo is loaded onto a vessel sailing to the 27-nation union from a non-EU port.

An ENS is also required for freight remaining on board for non-EU destinations, transhipment cargo to and from non-EU ports and all transit cargo for both EU and non-EU final destinations.

For short sea shipments an ENS must be filed two hours before arrival at an EU port.

The aim of the legislation, which mirrors the 24-hour rule in the US, is to ensure security risk assessments are performed before goods enter the EU.

In case of non-compliance, the EU could halt the loading or unloading of cargoes and impose fines or other penalties on carriers and other parties responsible for submitting cargo declarations.

Maersk Line and Cosco are among the carriers that have announced a $25 surcharge per document to cover the operating and administrative costs of implementing the new rules.

Maersk this week postponed the introduction of its Cargo Declaration Data Fee from January 1 to January 15 in order to allow shippers to familiarize themselves with the new regulations.

Maersk will also levy a $40 surcharge for each amendment to a bill of lading from February 1.

Carriers have asked freight forwarders and shippers to provide relevant information on cargoes up to 72 hours before loading on a vessel.

--Contact Bruce Barnard at