CBP Releases Vessel Entrance and Clearance System (VECS)

2024-03-04T16:33:39-05:00February 26th, 2024|

The Winter issue of the Maritime Exchange’s The Beacon reported that The Customs and Border Protection Vessel Entrance and Clearance System, known as VECS, has been widely accepted by the steamship community as a major improvement. VECS is an electronic portal for ship agents and other filers to submit the data required on CBP forms 26, 226, 1300, 1302, 1303, 1304, and 3171 electronically prior to arrival or departure from designated ports.

In January, Assistant Area Port Director Donald Josey and Supervisory CBP Officer Joshua Mason held a VECS Best Practices and Feedback meeting with local ship agents. Josh Schmidt, vessel agent for Terminal Shipping, a Division of John S.Connor, Inc. was one of 30 participants in the open forum where agents raised questions and concerns. 

Schmidt offered this observation, “The process is extremely simple and only takes minutes to complete, and CBP has been very responsive to comments we enter in VECS to help complete the entry process. And of course, filing online saves us a trip to the vessel or the U.S. Customs House, an enormous benefit to the steamship community.”

Although VECS remains in a pilot program and the MCR vessel fee option is new, the transition away from paper is welcome news to the steamship community. 

For complete information about the electronic portal for ship agents, visit https://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated/vessel-entrance-and-clearance-system-vecs


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