U.S. Import Shipments

American Airlines Cargo Requirements

When importing into the U.S., American Airlines Cargo requires advance electronic presentation of your cargo information at your first port of entry.

General Information

Please provide advance electronic presentation of your cargo information for all imports into the United States. This is required by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is also mandated by the Trade Act of 2002, which requires advance notice of all Master Air Waybill (MAWB) and House Air Waybill (HAWB) data through the Automated Manifest System (AMS) at the first U.S. port of entry. If not, there may be delays or penalties.

Tracking U.S. Imports

When tracking Air Waybills on aacargo.com, you should be able to view U.S. Customs import status details at the Master and House Air Waybill level - if such customs information exists. Information is posted as it is submitted to or received from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Notification Options and Fees
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  1. Direct transmission to CBP

    Fee: none

    If you are an authorized Air Manifest System (AMS) transmitter, you may transmit directly to CBP. If using this option, please provide your agent Facilities Information and Resources Management System (FIRMS) code to us with each Master Air Waybill in the Handling Information box using the following format:

    Example when using FIRMS code:

    AGT - A123
    - or -
    House Information transmitted by: A123

    Example when using ABI Filer:

    AGT - BCBPxxx
    - or -
    House Information transmitted by: BCBPxxx
    Where xxx is your ABI Filer code

    Upon arrival, if a shipment is being transferred to a bonded facility, the FIRMS (Facilities Information and Resources Management System) code should also be written in the Handling Information box, using these formats:

    Example for warehouse transfer:

    FIRMS - B456
    - or -
    Local Transfer at Destination to: B456
    Transmit either code to us electronically before you reach our terminal, and make sure it appears on the printed source document. It should also be provided to the airline through a FHL/2 or consolidation manifest.

  2. Transmission via Cargo IMP message to AA

    Accessorial Fee Code: CG
    Fee per HAWB: USD 2.50, EUR 2.00, GBP 1.25, fees subject to change.

    Please see the CBP Fee matrix for a full list of fees by origin country. You may send a comprehensive FHL/2 EDI (including full shipper and consignee data) to us, and we will transmit it to CBP. Please transmit all electronic data to us before you tender the cargo.

  3. Manual input of HAWB data by American Airlines from the accompanying documentation

    Accessorial Fee Code: CC
    Fee per HAWB: USD 10.00, EUR 8.00, GBP 5.50, fees subject to change.
    Please see the CBP Fee matrix (pdf, 36K) for a full list of fees by origin country. We will use your documentation to upload the information to CBP. Feel free to use third-party vendors to send the electronic transmission of information to us, because that would eliminate the need for us to manually input the HAWB data. Find out more about this service at www.cbp.gov.

Consolidation Manifest
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We recommend that a detailed consolidation manifest accompany each consolidation. This will prevent the need for us to open your document pouch to determine House Air Waybill (HAWB) information. This manifest should include full shipper, consignee and HAWB information, as well as pieces, weight and a complete description of the commodity being shipped.

The International Federation of Freight Forwarder Associations (FIATA) will develop a manifest that can be used for this purpose. Once completed, a copy of this example will be made available.

Commodity Descriptions
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To locate any anomalies in the cargo, CBP regulations require a precise narrative description of the commodities being shipped so that the shapes, physical characteristics and likely packaging of the manifested cargo can be identified. Find examples of these descriptions at www.cbp.gov.

For consolidated shipments, this description should be contained in the consolidation manifest. For simple shipments, where there is no associated House Air Waybill, this description should be contained in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box on the Master Air Waybill.

Please note that the following descriptions will no longer be allowed: FAK (Freight All Kinds), General Cargo, STC (Said To Contain where it pertains to a description of the goods being shipped), Consol within Consol, or Co-Load.

Consolidation vs. Simple Shipment
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For the purposes of CBP compliance, a consolidation is any shipment where a House Air Waybill (HAWB) is associated with a Master Air Waybill (MAWB). A "simple shipment" is one where the shipper and consignee stated on the source document are the ultimate shipper and consignee involved with the shipment.

Simple shipments should also have any internal piece counts (also know as Shipper Load and Count or SLAC) expressed on the source document in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box. For example, if a shipment consists of 2 skids, each containing 25 pieces, "2" would be entered in the No. of Pieces box, while the Nature and Quantity of Goods box would show "SLAC - 50 pieces." The number of pieces loaded into Customer Loaded Containers (CLCs) should also be shown in a similar manner, using the term "Said to Contain." If a CLC containing 150 pieces is tendered, the air waybill would have "1" entered in No. of Pieces, with "Said to Contain 150 pieces" shown in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box.

Consolidated shipments should follow the guidelines listed in the Master Air Waybill Completion section.

Master Air Waybill Completion
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CBP requirements may affect how a Master Air Waybill (MAWB) is filled out.

  • Shipper Information - For consolidations, the name and address of the forwarder involved is sufficient. For non-consolidations, the name and address of the actual shipper should be used.
  • Consignee Information - For consolidation shipments, the identity of the forwarder, container station or broker is enough. For non-consolidated shipments, the name and address of the actual consignee should be used.
  • Cargo Description - For all consolidated shipments, including those with only one House Air Waybill associated with the master, the description indicated in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box should read "Consolidation as per Attached Manifest." For non-consolidated shipments, a complete and accurate description should be indicated.
  • Quantity - While the number of pieces tendered needs to be shown in the No. of Pieces box, the total number of internal pieces tendered (Shipper Load and Count, or SLAC), must also be shown in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box, below the Consolidation statement. For example, if 2 skids, each containing 25 pieces, are tendered, "2" would be entered in the No. of Pieces box, while the Nature and Quantity of Goods box would show "SLAC - 50 pieces."
  • Customer Loaded Containers (CLCs) - For CLCs, the number of pieces contained in the container should be expressed as a "said to contain" statement in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box. The shipper must also clearly indicate on the source document, consol manifest or pallet tag which HAWB, including number of pieces, is loaded in each CLC. For example, if a customer-loaded LD3 containing 150 individual pieces is tendered, the entry in the No. of Pieces box would be "1," and, "Said to Contain 150 pieces" would be entered in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box.
  • FIRMS and AGT Codes - For companies transmitting their information through AMS directly to CBP, the AGT code must be entered in the Handling Information box using the following format: AGT-XXXX (e.g., AGT-B123). If a shipment is being transferred upon arrival to a bonded facility, the FIRMS (Facilities Information and Resources Management System) code must also be written in the Handling Information box using the following format: FIRMS-XXXX (e.g., FIRMS-A123).

Informational Links

For more information on the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirements, please visit www.cbp.gov.

IATA also has information available at www.iata.org

U.S. CBP Fees

View a full list of fees related to CBP by country.

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