APL stays compliant with the U.S. Federal Laws and Regulations to ensure the safe transport of your cargo.

Cargo Preference Laws

In order to maintain the fourth line of defense, the Federal Government has designed Cargo Preference Law which helps support the U.S. Merchant Marine during peace so that they are available in times of war. Below please find a list of the laws for your reference:

  • Cargo Preference Act of 1904
  • Merchant Marine Act of 1920
  • Economy Act of 1932
  • Merchant Marine Act of 1936
  • Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946
  • Defense Production Act of 1950
  • Cargo Preference Act of 1954
  • The Denton Amendment
  • Maritime Security Act of 1996
  • McCumber Amendment

Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)

Governments around the world have implemented a wide range of supply chain security initiatives to improve maritime and intermodal cargo and operator protection. APL meets all its global security requirements to ensure our vessels and your shipments do not suffer delays.

Through the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve United States border security. CTPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program which recognizes that CBP can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the principle stakeholders of the international supply chain such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers. The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 provided a statutory framework for the CTPAT program and imposed strict program oversight requirements.

APL is a certified CTPAT member since 2002 and maintains security procedures that are consistent with CTPAT security criteria for sea carriers. APL has successfully completed all of its CTPAT revalidations, with our most recent revalidation in 2017.

As CTPAT members, APL is exempt from completing customer/business partner Security Questionnaires. To assist our customers in meeting their CTPAT compliance of screening and monitoring business partners, please send your request to monitor our status through the CTPAT Portal.

For more information on CTPAT, see links below:


Other Regulations & Resources

10 + 2 Program

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Security Filing regulation, commonly known as the 10+2 initiative, requires that importers and vessel operating carriers provide additional advance information on non-bulk cargo shipments arriving into the United States by vessel.

Importer Requirements

Importers need to electronically file an Importer Security Filing (ISF). This comprises the following data elements:

  • Seller
  • Consolidator
  • Buyer and Ship To names and addresses
  • Container stuffing location
  • Importer and consignee record numbers
  • Country of origin of goods
  • Commodity harmonized tariff schedule number

Vessel Operating Carrier Requirements

Carriers need to submit:

  • Vessel Stowage Plans or BAPLIEs
  • Container Status Messages – CSM

Carriers also need to file five additional data elements for shipments consisting of foreign cargo remaining on board (FROB), or intended to be transported in-bond as an immediate exportation (IE), or for transportation and exportation (T&E). The five data elements are:

  • Booking part name and address
  • Foreign port of unlading
  • Place of delivery
  • Ship To name and address
  • Commodity HTSUS number

Useful Links and Information


Useful Links

Links to government agencies and industry organization

Regulatory bodies

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore - MPA

International Maritime Organization – IMO

World Customs Organization – WCO

U.S. Government Agencies

U.S. Customs and Border Protection - CBP

U.S. Coast Guard - USCG

U.S. Department of Transportation Agencies - DOT

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

U.S. Department of Treasury/ Office of Foreign Assets Control – OFAC

Transportation Security Administration - TSA