The Automated Manifest System (AMS) is the system used by US customs for submitting documents they require for processing shipments coming into the US. Introduced in 2004, this system requires airline carriers and ocean carriers to submit within prescribed time limits, precise details of cargo arriving at US ports and airports. In practice, the freight forwarder, rather than the carrier, typically complete AMS filing.
There are two points at which shipment details must be filed:
- Cargo reporting is required before loading: Under 10+2 regulations, carriers must submit Importer Security Filing (ISF), along with two other documents, at least 24 hours before the shipment is loaded on the ship or plane used for the main transit. In cases where the goods are in-transit, the carrier is required to enter 5 ISF data elements.
- Conveyance report is required before arrival: Forwarders submit customs entry lodgement before the ship arrives in port, from information collected from the ocean manifest (House Bill of Lading) and Commercial Invoice.
Several countries have Automated Manifest System (AMS), including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea.
The party responsible for filing AMS is the carrier, which may be a shipping line or an airline.
AMS should be filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at least 24 hours before loading the cargo onto the vessel or aircraft bound for the United States.
Failure to file AMS may result in delayed clearance of the cargo, additional fees, or even penalties.
The fines for AMS filing violations can vary depending on the nature and severity of the violation. However, the fines can range from $5,000 to $10,000 per violation.
AMS can be amended before the cargo arrives in the United States, but any changes made after the cargo arrives may require additional documentation and may delay the clearance process.