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April 17, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by voice vote the Moving
Americans Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 4403).
H.R. 4403 would amend the Tariff Act of 1930
to prevent U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) from selling the personally
identifiable information (PII) of individuals who are shipping personal goods
through U.S. seaports.
American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) and International Association
of Movers (IAM) have led the efforts on the legislation, which Worldwide ERC®
it would direct the CBP Commissioner to remove personally identifiable
information from vessel manifests before the manifests are sold and made
The CBP presently sells the manifest data on vessel shipments to
companies which analyze
the commercial data and provide reports as well as the raw information to its
clients. However, the information of individuals shipping goods is also
captured in the data sent to the vessel manifest information companies. The information can consist of personal data such as
Social Security numbers, home addresses and passport information. The
companies then post the manifest information online for its subscribers to
access. The posting of this sensitive data makes transferees shipping goods
through U.S. ports targets for identity theft, financial fraud and unwanted
solicitations. While individuals, or their representatives, shipping goods can
submit a certification to request that their information be withheld, the
processing of the certification can take months and confidentiality is not
Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) introduced H.R. 4403 on November
15, 2017, as a companion bill to S. 998 which Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and
Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced on May 1, 2017. With passage by the House, H.R.
4403 has now been referred to the Senate and specifically the Committee on
Finance for consideration. Since the bill enjoys wide bipartisan support, the
hope is the Senate will expedite passage of H.R. 4403.