Electronic Notice of Arrival (ENOA)= this is the system whereby the ship or ship Owner provides advance notice of a ship’s intended visit to the U.S. along with a variety of information about the vessel, where she has been, her certificates and the crew who are onboard. Vessels arriving from foreign are required to provide at least 96 hour advance notice. Vessels arriving from foreign ports which are closer than 96 hours away can be granted some dispensation from the entire time requirement. Vessels arriving from another U.S. port are required to provide at least 24 hour advance notice. In most cases the date and time of arrival should coincide with the 1st place of arrival (anchorage or berth). Detailed info regarding format for submission and other guidelines can be found at www.nvmc.uscg.gov/. If a vessel or ship Owner are not prepared for submitting an enoa/enod there are 3rd party companies that provide this service and we can get you started. Failure to submit timely most likely will result in delays in being allowed into the port.
Electronic Notice of Departure (ENOD) = this is the system whereby the ship or ship Owner provides advance notice of a ship’s intended departure from the U.S. (not U.S. to U.S., but U.S. to foreign). It must be submitted at least 1 hour prior to departure, but due to the uncertain nature of satellite connections, etc. we highly recommend that same gets submitted once the sailing pilot is booked (3-4 hours prior to departure). Failure for timely submission can result in a fine, and is hotly pursued by CBP Houston/Galveston.
Transportation Worker’s Identification Card (TWIC) = almost all public and private docks in the U.S. Gulf require visitors to have a TWIC in their possession in order to access the facility. Persons without a TWIC will need to hire an approved escort to and from the gate to the ship’s gangway. Details and info about obtaining a TWIC can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/transportation-worker-identification-credential-twic. Obtaining a TWIC takes a few weeks for U.S. citizens. Foreigners can obtain TWIC, but it takes even longer, and it needs to be done in person.
Ballast Water Exchange between U.S. Ports= please note the following from the USCG, quote:
For vessel voyages that do not take the vessel more than 200NM from shore, or if the vessel does not transit beyond 200NM from shore for long enough to complete ballast water exchange:
* You are not required to conduct ballast water exchange.
Generally: If the vessel transits in waters greater than 200 NM from shore, the vessel must complete ballast water exchange (33 CFR 151.2035 (b).
However, if the voyage does not take the vessel beyond 200 NM from shore, the vessel is not required to deviate its course out to 200 NM from to complete the ballast water exchange. (33 CFR 151.2036) In such cases, the vessel must discharge only that amount of ballast water operationally necessary to ensure the safety of the vessels for cargo operations. (33 CFR 151.2037)
NVIC 07-04, Enclosure (2), pg 5 offers the following discussion on this situation:
"Masters are not required to divert or delay a voyage in order to conduct mid-ocean BWE [33 CFR 151.2036]. Whenever a vessel enters U.S. waters after operating beyond the EEZ, but cannot conduct mid-ocean BWE because the voyage to the U.S. was such that the vessel did not transit outside 200 NM of any coast for enough time to conduct exchange, the vessel must retain its un-exchanged ballast water while operating in U.S. waters and only discharge the minimal amount of un-exchanged ballast water that is operationally necessary to safely conduct cargo operations [33 CFR 151.2037]. Such situations may be likely for vessels that enter the U.S. EEZ from a Caribbean, Canadian, or South American port where a direct transit to the U.S. may not take the vessel more than 200 NM from shore for sufficient time to conduct BWE before reaching their U.S. destination."
Low Sulphur Fuel Oil requirements = please see here.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) / Immigrations
International Carrier Bond (ICB)= every ship Owner must have or have access to an International Carrier Bond. It is required by CBP and is used for crew control and security purposes. It has nothing to do with cargo matters. If it is not provided in advance of the ship’s arrival CBP may hold the ship out of port until it is provided and verified. If and Owner does not yet have an ICB they should immediately contact their PandI, as it can take 2-3 weeks to get one generated.
SCAC Codes = every ship Owner or Operator should have a scac code. Throughout the U.S. it will be required by CBP (and used in the AMS System) so that they can track what carriers are doing and assist in providing each and every import b/l a unique identification. If you don’t already have a SCAC code you should proceed to www.nfmta.org. Also note that for Texas ports CBP may require the agent to provide the Owner or Operator’s scac code even for exports (although it will not be used for b/l purposes).
Automated Manifest System (AMS + ACE) = This is a CBP system for tracking imports and providing on-line support for the status of cargo releases. Every ship Owner or Operator should have an AMS Provider or know how to input their own AMS info. We can assist you with setting up an AMS Provider if you do not yet already have one. You will need to have a bond in place prior to starting. Keep in mind that depending on the type of cargo, the ams entry may be required to be entered into the system at least 24 hrs prior to loading in case CBP wants to inspect same. That rule does not apply to true bulk and some steel product cargoes. Any cargo in containers, boxes, paper wrapping, bags or any other covering which could conceal the contents inside are NOT exempt. For more details go to www.cbp.gov.
Automated Export System (AES) = This is a CBP system for tracking exports. Every Exporter should have an AES Provider or know how to input their own AES info. We can assist you with setting up an AES Provider if you do not yet already have one.
Spares coming off a ship and AMS = unless the parts needing to be removed are going back onboard the same vessel, anything besides documents coming off the ship and not returning onboard must be entered in the CBP AMS system.
Incoming Spares via courier service = If the spares are in bond, this is NOT the most efficient method of getting spares to any ship. The courier company needs the use of a Customs bond which means the package will need to be processed through our customs broker and the transition between those 2 parties can take several days. We strongly recommend that any inbound in bond spares get routed as air freight.
Crew without visas who want repatriation = Generally not permitted without a medical emergency – and even in those cases a guard or guards will be required to accompany the crewman to the last exit point from the U.S.
Dunnage removal = all dunnage must be inspected by USDA/APHIS (PPQ) prior to removal from the ship. Dunnage removal costs vary quite a bit depending on vessel location, number of dumpsters needed, union or non-union stevedoring being used, etc. A dunnage certificate (confirming fumigation and/or non-infestation) is helpful in this regard but does not guarantee ability to discharge if the inspection finds any bugs, larvae, etc. If the inspection finds infestation the USDA/APHIS will require the ship to keep the dunnage onboard and depart the U.S. without discharge/disposal.
Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificates (SSCEC) (Deratting Certificates) = these are no longer available in the U.S. Gulf.