New data regulations being considered by the US government to help prevent terrorist weapons from being transported to the US will have major implications for garment importers.

The Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements, commonly known as 10+2, will require importers to submit data on their shipments at least 24 hours before loading on an ocean carrier.

Details of the proposed rule were first published on 2 January 2008 but have since been amended, with a 'Final Interim Rule' coming into effect on 26 January 2009.

Under existing requirements, importers must file entry information with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within 15 days of a shipment arriving at a US entry port, followed by summary information within 10 days of merchandise entry.

Under the new plans, however, importers would have to file data no later than 24 hours before the cargo is laden aboard a vessel destined to the US.

This applies to shipments of goods intended for the US or delivered to a foreign trade zone (FTZ).

The information that needs to be supplied covers ten areas.

Eight are applicable to importers: seller, buyer, importer of record number/FTZ applicant identification number, consignee number(s), manufacturer (or supplier), ship to party, country of origin, and commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) number.

And two relate to suppliers and/or forwarders, who need to provide information on the container stuffing location and the consolidator's name and address.

Importers will have 12 months after the final ruling takes effect to comply fully, and during this period CBP will show restraint in enforcing it.

CBP says it will also check for any specific compliance difficulties that importers and shippers may experience in submitting all data elements 24 hours before lading.

Obviously there are implications for re-engineering current business processes and systems.

Not only must data submissions be delivered to CBP via an approved electronic data interchange system, but data from purchase orders, packing and shipping documents - which may be held by buyers, vendors, manufacturers, agents, logistics service providers and factories - all needs to be easily accessible.