SUBJECT: UPDATE to Southern Currents 15-015 – Advanced Qualified Unlading Approval (AQUA) Lane Pilot Program
The purpose of this notice is to inform the New Orleans Trade Community of a major change to the 90-day pilot program known as AQUA Lane in the Port of New Orleans. Beginning January 4, 2016, preliminary entrance and advanced granting of cargo unlading of a foreign arriving container vessel will only be granted to those container vessels annotating the CBP Form 3171 as follows:
Container carriers must request AQUA Lane privileges through the submission of CBP Form 3171, section 9, box 5 prior to arrival. The words “AQUA Lane” must be annotated in this box to request AQUA Lane privileges
This pilot applies only to container carriers.
AQUA Lane was developed to create an expedited vessel entrance system to those C-TPAT sea carriers that qualify under a set of predetermined mandates that will give the carrier the ability to immediately unlade merchandise upon arrival in the United States.
This new C-TPAT benefit was developed in a joint partnership between CBP/C-TPAT, sea carriers, trade associations, COAC and CBP management. This process includes elements of CBP agriculture and trade review.
The AQUA Lane concept will benefit both the trade community and CBP. The new concept will enhance CBP’s utilization of resources as well as improve the current informal unlading approval process amongst the various ports of entry_ It will provide tangible benefits to the sea carriers as well as their trade partners in the overall supply chain while enhancing security to the supply chain process.
Nothing in this pilot changes the Port Director’s current ability to grant preliminary entrance for vessels not eligible for AQUA Lane privileges as has been the past practice in the port of New Orleans.
AQUA Lane privilege requirements:
- Certified partner in C-TPAT (carrier and terminal location)
- Compliant with ISF requirements
- Compliant with Agriculture requirements to include all required certificates
- Crewmember must remain onboard until formal CBP processing
- All containers must be delivered to a C-TPAT terminal operator
This pilot will be conducted from Sunday, November 1, 2015 through at least Sunday, January 31, 2016.
To reiterate, this pilot will now require container carriers to request AQUA Lane privileges through the submission of CBP Form 3171, section 9, box 5 prior to arrival. The words “AQUA Lane” must be annotated in this box to request AQUA Lane privileges.
CBP will vet the vessel for any issues to include trade compliance, agriculture and admissibility issues. The Port Director or designee will give final approval for AQUA Lane and the carrier will be notified via routine CBP Form 3171 approval and/or denial process.
Questions regarding this information notice may be directed to Chief CBPO Denise Emmer at (504) 623-6652.