MLL Advisory – HS Code Guidelines – Improved Alignment with Cargo Preference

The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) was established to manage the “Cargo Preference program work to promote and facilitate a US maritime transportation system that is accessible and efficient in the movement of goods and people. It oversees the administration of and compliance with US Cargo Preference laws and regulations. Those laws require shippers to use US-Flag vessels to transport any Government-impelled oceanborne cargoes.”

As a participant in both the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program, a primary focus of Maersk Line, Limited is handling the transportation needs of US Government customers in accordance with Cargo Preference rules and regulations. As mentioned in our previous announcement regarding compliance, Maersk has made process changes that will isolate US Government cargo from commercial cargo to ensure proper handling.

In better aligning with MARAD’s Cargo Preference laws, Maersk has created HS codes that will simplify the booking process and provide Maersk and our customers’ better transparency concerning US Government cargo.

Starting October 1, 2016 all shipments of US Government cargo must be booked with one of the below HS codes. It is important to note that these new descriptions must be referenced or selected during the booking process, in order to ensure the appropriate association for a given shipment.

 HS Code HS Code Description
 999990  US Flag – US Military cargo (other than household goods)
 999991  US Flag – US Military Household Goods
 999992  US Flag – US Export Import Bank
 999993  US Flag – US Civilian Agencies Cargo
 999994  non-US Flag – US Civilian Agencies Cargo
 999995  US Flag – Agricultural Cargoes
 999996  non-US Flag – Agricultural Cargoes
 999997  US Flag – Foreign Military Sales
 999998  non-US Flag – Foreign Military Sales

Failure to provide this information accurately at the time of booking will result in a commercial non-US Flag shipment which moves under standard commercial terms and conditions. Additionally, US Flag Bills of Lading will only be created for the HS codes mentioned in the table above.

Example US Flag Bill of Lading

US Flag Bill of Lading

For any questions or clarifications, please contact your local Maersk sale representative.


Maersk Line, Limited

This entry was posted in documentation,, simplification. Bookmark the permalink.