H.R. 4403 amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to prevent the public disclosure of personally identifiable information contained on manifests when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) releases certain shipment data. Specifically, the legislation ensures that certain personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers and passport numbers, is removed from any manifest that is signed, delivered, or electronically submitted to CBP before the manifest is made available to the public.
CBP requires manifest documents for shipments into the United States either at or before the time of entry. In 1984, the public disclosure of certain manifest information was required. The original intent of this provision was to increase competition, to facilitate better public analysis of import trends, and allow port authorities and transportation companies to more easily identify potential customers and changes in their industry. However, in recent years, personally identifiable information of relocating individuals has been inadvertently released, putting them at risk for identity theft, credit card fraud, and unwanted solicitations.