The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expanding its so-called AQUA program for expedited freight clearance at US ports.
AQUA, which stands for Advanced Qualified Unloading Approval, allows qualified carriers to file for speeded up customs approval a day in advance so CBP can pre-clear a ship and it can begin unloading as soon as it docks.
The time-saving service applies only to carriers and terminals deemed low risk under the CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) scheme.
CBP’s expansion of AQUA will increase from the initial four ports involved in the pilot scheme – Port Everglades, Baltimore, Oakland and New Orleans – to also include Miami, Savannah, Seattle, Newark, Los Angeles and Long Beach.
A further expansion in December is expected to add Charleston, Houston, Jacksonville, Honolulu, Norfolk, Wilmington (Delaware), Wilmington (North Carolina), Boston, Philadelphia and San Juan to the list.