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News Alert – Proposed U.S. Customs and Border Protection Legislation

November 21, 2017

Under current U.S. law, independent third-party companies can access vessel manifests and summary statistical reports of imports and exports, including household goods shipments. Information eligible for disclosure includes a person’s name, address, passport number, and the name and address to which the shipment is consigned. Once obtained by these companies, a person’s data may be used for publication and distribution to other companies that have purchased their services.

Since 2011, Arpin International Group has suggested that its customers request confidentiality of their personal information. To obtain confidentiality on a shipment, the owner of the goods or their third party authorized agent must send a request to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Requests for confidentiality on all household goods shipments must be completed on a case-by-case basis. To assist our transferees smoothly navigate this process, Arpin’s international move coordinators provide each transferee moving to or from the U.S. with a sample Manifest Confidentiality Form, step-by-step instructions for obtaining an EIN number, and directions on how to submit their requests electronically.

Recently, we have learned that Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) and co-sponsor Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) introduced a bill, The Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act, which would prohibit the CBP from sharing individuals’ personal information when moving household goods internationally. If enacted into law, this will help the moving public to make informed choices about managing their personal information.

Arpin International Group will continue to provide you with updates as the bill progresses through congress.