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U.S. Customs: How To File AMS For USA Shipment?

how to file ams for usa shipments

This era is full of exceptional technology in the maritime industry. With features like real-time tracking solutions, intelligent integrations, & leveraging Business Intelligence (BI) advanced technology. The maritime sector has surpassed the possibility of relying on conventional business methods. The job of exporters, importers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, NVOCC, and transportation clients has become trouble-free & less manual. These technology trends have transformed the industry to help overcome business challenges.

Systems in a place like Automated Manifest System (AMS) have eliminated unnecessary paperwork directed towards efficiency. It is a means of digitalizing the shipping process documentation. Launched by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the system is responsible to seek details about the shipments via AMS Fillings. This data also lays the foundation for global trade statistics which is also utilized to create trade reports. Therefore, read ahead to know about how to file AMS for USA shipments.

Giant Leaps Systems is an expert at handling such import/export data that provides valuable insights. Our customized software for shipping companies, freight forwarders, & customs house brokers helps seek 2x profits. It is a means to expect a surplus return on investment on the latest technological trends.

Table Of Contents

What Is AMS In Shipping?

An Automated Manifest System (AMS) is a system responsible for electronically transmitting the cargo data to the customs department. It is a system launched & operated by the U.S Customs & Border Protection (CBP). As a prerequisite condition for successfully importing the trade goods, it helps verify cargo details for any potential security threats. The main purpose of launching this system in 2004 was to seek detailed information about the goods imported into the country.

The system is an important part of the United States’ vision to curtail security threats. The only condition is any ships entering/passing the US waters must file the details in the system. It is directly linked with the US Customs Department to avoid any delay in the transmission of cargo details. It helps faster processing of information by eliminating paperwork. Furthermore, as per 24 Hour Rule, forwarders must declare cargo-related information prior to 24 hours of cargo lading & leaving the port. This is mandatory for all the goods entering the country.

Who Files AMS To U.S. Customs?

Any party willing to import goods via the US waters becomes liable to file cargo details with the US Customs Department. It is the responsibility of the:

  1. Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

  2. Freight Forwarder

  3. Your supplier (as per the contract) or you yourself

Failing to timely submit the information will result in penalties & fines from the U.S. Customs. It can amount up to the US $ 5000 - 10,000.

Automated Manifest System Regulations

The following are the Automated Manifest System Regulationsstated by the U.S Customs regarding the submission of the documents.

  1. Any party willing to import goods entering/passing through the US waters is liable to fulfill AMS filing requirements.

  2. The submission of cargo-related information must be done prior to 24 hours of cargo lading & leaving the port.

  3. In case of filing incorrect information on AMS:

    1. The shipment goods can be seized for further inspection

    2. A heavy fine can be imposed as per the kind of information wrongly put

    3. The detained goods can be put a halt on reaching their destination

    4. Such actions can also result in civil tensions or diplomatic conflicts between the two countries

  4. Non-compliance with the AMS can lead to a penalty worth US $5,000 - 10,000 for each breach. Goods shall not be allowed to enter the country.

How To File AMS For USA Shipment?

how to file ams for usa shipments

AMS or Automated Manifest System is an integral part of the United States shipping system. The system was put into practice to establish contact between the stakeholders involved in the process. The more important reason is largely the curtailing of potential security threats via the cargo movement.

Any party willing to import goods to the U.S. via the waters becomes liable to file AMS filings. As per the 24 Hour Rule, the information has to be filed with the U.S customs department before the ship leaves for the destination port. The cargo reporting is to be facilitated prior to the 24 hours. This falls under the category of the AMS filings. Whereas, Import Security Filing (ISF 10+2) must be submitted by attaching two additional documents. At last, before the ship arrives at the port, a conveyance report must be submitted by the forwarder or carrier. This is generated via the bill of landing & a commercial invoice.

Why Choose Giant Leap Systems’ AMS?

GLS’s Automated Manifest System is a one-step way to manage & speed up your shipping processes into the United States. It is the means of electronic transmission of information amongst the stakeholders & the U.S Customs Department. As it is directly linked to the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), it providers real-time status updates. These updates are related to the clearance process of the manifest cargo data. It is an integrative filing solution for businesses willing to comply with CBP regulations & willing to save their time & money.

As the system facilitates a unique opportunity that refrains you from filling in the information in multiple systems every time. GLS offers a unique solution that saves your time by not interacting with multiple systems. Instead, you only file the cargo information only once for all the systems. The robust API integrations bring together the stakeholders.

Features of GLS Automated Manifest System:

  1. Real-time 24/7 custom clearance status updates

  2. Robust API Integrations that link the information with other parties involved

  3. Directly linked to the U.S Customs as an electronic interface

  4. Controlled user access globally for security reasons

  5. Paperless/reduced manual processing

  6. Easy-to-use interface with simple procedures

  7. Transmits details via a secured network

  8. Improves customer experience with status information


1. What is ACI in shipping?

Advance Commercial Information (ACI) is an initiative started by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It is a compulsory security norm laid to collect data on the commodities being loaded to be sent out to a foreign port. This government of Canada's initiative primarily revolves around the electronic transmission of cargo data to CBSA. It increases cross-border trade effectiveness. The program’s main purpose is to facilitate safe & secure shipments into Canada.

2. What information is needed to file AMS?

The following information is needed to file AMS prior to 24 hours of cargo lading:

  • Details of the shipper & consignee

  • Details of cargo - piece name, number & weight

  • Details of the carrier - country of documentation, voyage number, ship name, ship’s official number & SCAC

  • Details of the port

  • The first foreign port where the possession of the cargo is handed

  • The last foreign port before the shipment reaches the U.S.

  • Internationally acknowledged hazardous cargo code

  • The container number, container seal number

  • The expected date of the cargo to arrive at the U.S.

3. What are AMS & ISF?

Automated Manifest System (AMS) filing requires mandatory transmission of cargo information electronically. This has to be fulfilled as per the 24 Hour Rule laid by the authority. In addition, Import Security Filing (ISF) is done as a step ahead. The two additional documents are filed by the party present at the destination customs.


GLS’ Automated Manifest System is an integrative solution for the timely submission of information & much more. It establishes seamless communication amongst all the involved stakeholders in the shipping process. This system was implemented by the United States with the aim to restrict potential security threats. However, with the evolution of advanced technology & software solutions, you can take your business to next level. This can be strategically achieved by capitalizing on the latest technology-driven solutions. In turn, which helps improve customer experience, amplifies profits, & reduces costs.

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