U.S. Coast Guard 96-hours’ Notice of Arrival (NOA) – Final Rule

The NOA requirement takes effect on 1 April 2003 and the deadline to begin filing electronically through the Customs’ AMS is 1 July 2003, but there are a number of obstacles to be overcome in order to comply with this rule.

On February 28, 2003 the USCG published a final rule on the 96-hour Notice of Arrival (NOA) requirements. The industry has been subject to this requirement since 4 October 2001 when it was published as a temporary rule. Members were notified of this in Weekly NEWS No. 10 of 7 March 2003

This Rule amends 33 CFR Part 160 finalizing the 96-hour Notice of Arrival (NOA) requirements. Although the USCG is not mandating the electronic submission of the NOA it is requiring that vessels manifest information via the Customs’ Automated Manifest System (AMS) as part of the 96-hour NOA. In the final rule, the USCG admits that there is at this time no central repository for submitting both the NOA and Customs Form 1302. Even though the final rule lists the Customs Form 1302 (Cargo Declaration) as part of the NOA required information, Bulk vessels are still exempt and are allowed to submit this information 24 hours before entering the US port. The rest of the NOA required information must be submitted 96-hours prior to arrival in a US port. The intent of the USCG in the future is to combine these documents but for the bulk sector it may remain two separate submissions.

The NOA requirement takes effect on 1 April 2003 but the deadline to begin filing electronically through the Customs’ AMS is 1 July 2003. The Coast Guard currently does not have the capability at the National Vessel Movement Center (NVMC) to process cargo manifest information. In the text of the final rule the USCG admits this, ‘The Coast Guard and USCS are working together to obtain vessel arrival information in an automated format that will meet the requirements of both agencies’.

Last Five Ports
The rule requires that vessels that have arrived from or have stopped in foreign ports provide information listing their last five ports of call. In discussions with shipowners some concerns exist as to the ability of the National Vessel Movement Center (NMVC) to process the information in time for the April 1 deadline unless it has modified its system to handle the additional information requirements. Sources at Coast Guard headquarters have indicated that the entire system is being updated to accommodate the new processing needs.

United Nations Number Requirements for Cargo
The designation of a UN number (for a certain dangerous cargo or CDC) may not, in many cases, easily correlate to the cargoes identified by the International Maritime Organization designation assigned to the product in 33 CFR 153. UN numbers may not exist for certain tripartite cargoes, cargoes classified by the “ten percent rule”, or other noxious liquid substances.

Timeframe Problems for NOA and AMS
The rule will create immediate problems for the industry. Discussions with members have indicated that complying with the rule within the timeframe (the NOA final rule is effective 1 April 2003 and AMS filing requirement is 1 July 2003) will, for some tanker owners, be difficult, time consuming and in many instances unnecessary.

A form can be viewed here  whichlists, all the information required for the Notice of Arrival.

Contact: Howard Snaith