Automated Manifest System (AMS)

What is AMS?

U.S. Customs' Automated Manifest System (AMS) is an electronic system that automates the customs clearance process for rail import shipments. Whether moving northbound from Mexico to the U.S. or southbound from Canada to the U.S., shipments can be processed for clearance with U.S. Customs in advance of physical interchange.

How Does AMS Impact Rail Shipments?

AMS permits Rail Carriers (EDI transactions), Brokers (ABI system), and U.S. Customs via AMS to electronically exchange shipment information, allowing Customs to review documentation and determine in advance whether shipment merits examination or release.

The AMS Electronic Process

  • Customer sends bill of lading to U.S. railroad
  • U.S. railroad sends manifest to U.S. Customs
  • U.S. Customs and Broker receives manifest information
  • Broker files entry and U.S. railroad notified
  • Consist (list of rail cars) of train sent to U.S. Customs
  • Train arrives at border
  • U.S. Customs sends release/hold for inspection message to U.S. railroad and broker

Key Benefits

  • Eliminates paper documentation process – which is labor intensive and time consuming
  • Provides more accurate and timely shipment information
  • Enables U.S. Customs, Brokers and railroads to proactively monitor and manage shipment clearance
  • Reduces Customs violations and penalties
  • Reduces filing errors due to industry standardization
  • Improves transportation service and asset utilization

Requirements for AMS Implementation

Shippers and/or Brokers will be required to furnish the following items:

  • Shipments must be billed at time of departure and prior to arrival at U.S. Border 
  • Complete shipping information 
    • Equipment initial and number 
    • Shipper name, street address, city, province/state, postal/zip code 
    • Ultimate consignee, street address, city, province/state, postal/zip code 
    • Importer name, street address, city, province/state, postal/zip code 
    • Custom's broker name and city, province/state
    • Total number of pieces and unit of measure 
    • Total weight and unit of measure 
    • Complete and accurate description of goods (as example "FAK" no longer acceptable) 
    • Country of origin of the goods 
    • Value and currency 
    • Complete rail routing 
    • If shipment moving in-bond, the six position harmonize code is required 
    • If shipment is hazardous, advance notice is required  
  • Entries filed by U.S. Broker with U.S. Customs prior to arrival at U.S. Border

All Shipments must be Pre-billed and Pre-filed prior to arrival at the Border and/or Port of Entry.