Recently, the U.S. Customs and Border Control made an exciting announcement that they will be releasing an automated tool that will speed up the processing of vessel manifest confidentiality requests. Turnaround time will go from 60 to 90 days, to as little as 24 hours. 

The New Process is Online

CBP manifest data will continue to be compiled daily and available for the public to purchase via CD-ROMs. Importers and exporters who have requested and are approved for confidentiality are not included in this public manifest data. Importers and exporters have long had the ability to request that their manifests be withheld from public view, but the current process takes so long that it can create logistical bottlenecks. The current vessel manifest confidentiality process is completed by email, fax, or standard mail—but the new process will be completed by an online tool provided by

Manifest Data Remains the Same

While the process for approved confidentiality is changing, importers and exporters will still need to renew their confidentiality certifications every two years. The vessel manifest data will remain the same and allow for inputting all applicable name variations. It will still include:

  • Country code
  • Names and phone numbers
  • Estimated arrival
  • Bill of lading numbers
  • Foreign ports of loading
  • Manifest quantities and units
  • Weight and weights unit
  • Shippers name and address (unless confidential)
  • Consignee names and addresses (unless confidential)
  • Who to notify (unless confidential)
  • Piece counts
  • Description of goods
  • Container numbers
  • Seal numbers 

With a fast and streamlined confidentiality process we expect to see more importers and exporters requesting confidentiality. Faster processing may also increase the frequency of shipments by those who have long requested confidentiality. 

As always, if you need a reliable shipping partnerRTM Lines is and has been an industry leader since 1980. RTM simplifies the otherwise complex process of importing and exporting globally and is always up-to-date on regulatory changes.