Confidentiality US Import Data - How to Keep USA Import Data Confidential

U.S. Customs laws and regulations require that every sea vessel operator in the import/export trades keep manifests that accurately identify all cargo laden aboard.

Vessel manifests provide a great wealth of information about a supplier's/exporters/shipper’s business, including the complete description of the goods, the names of suppliers, consignees/buyers, importers/notify party, piece count, and weight.

Many US based importers and global exporters assume that this information is Proprietary and confidential. However, it is freely (without any restriction) available to anyone on daily basis to all the subscribers (Paid) unless confidentiality for the said transaction is expressly granted by United States Customs and Border Protection commonly known as CBP.

The data available to the public for ocean import shipments consist of the following twenty-two elements.

  1. Shipper name 9. Weight 16. Voyage number
  2. Shipper address 10. Weight unit 17. District/port of unlading
  3. Consignee name 11. Container Number 18. Estimated arrival date
  4. Consignee address 12. Seal number 19. Bill of lading number
  5. Importer name 13. Carrier Code 20. Foreign port of lading
  6. Importer address 14. Vessel country 21. Manifest quantity
  7. Description of goods 15. Vessel name 22. Manifest units
  8. Piece count

Across the globe there are number of companies that provide import and export vessel manifest information. Those companies provide this information in a variety of formats like excel sheets and offer sophisticated search options for capturing company-specific data.

These companies can provide the names and addresses of foreign suppliers, U.S. customers, and the products and quantities involved. They can even supply the names of other U.S. importers who purchase from the same foreign vendors. For a few hundred dollars, a company can obtain this information about its competitors' import/export transactions.

Requests for manifest confidentiality may be submitted to Customs and, if granted, exempt from disclosure the most sensitive manifest data, including names and addresses of shippers, factories, consignees, and notify parties. Confidentiality certifications are valid for two years and must be renewed prior to their expiration.

The Primary Purpose of the Government Confidentiality Request is to keep US Importers sensitive Import and Export inward manifest information including identifying marks and numbers confidential or from being disclosed to the public for a period of two years at a time.

It must be noted that filling of request and once it is granted protects us importers from their name to be disclosed in AMS. However this information still can be obtained from Exporting countries Export Details.

If you are an US importer or Global Supplier /exporter and have not already been granted confidentiality, If you would like additional information on protecting your proprietary import/export data. Do send us mail to


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