Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has developed systems which make it easy to monitor and account for all cargo that enters the country. CBP systems such as ACE eManifest also come with certain capabilities that make it possible to generate all statistical data regarding foreign trade. They include FIRMS codes, Schedule D codes, and Schedule K codes.
What are FIRMS Codes?
FIRMS (Facilities Information and Resource Management System) codes are a type of system identifier which represents the exact location of imported cargo in the USA. FIRMS codes could also be referred to as warehouse codes. Carriers, for example, would enter the FIRMS code on an ACE eManifest of the warehouse they are dropping bonded freight off at.
CBP generates and provides a four-digit alpha-numerical code for bonded warehouses or CFS (container freight stations) and FTZ ‘s(foreign trade zones). All facilities using the code are bonded and are in the AMS (Automated Manifest system) or ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)
For any bonded facility to receive and be in possession of this code, they must file with the CBP (Customs and Border Protection).
The codes are necessary for all types of entries. Each interested party must be in possession of these codes in order to facilitate any kind of electronic process with CBP at any port of entry.
FIRMS codes are used by CBP to manage and track all bonded facilities within its jurisdiction. CBP provides an up to date list of FIRMS codes here.
When it comes to any electronic trade declarations like an ABI entry or an eManifest submission at the port of entry, the FIRMS code probably is included, especially if the freight is bonded.
Importance of FIRMS Codes
The codes are useful in so many ways.
- For importers or customs brokers, the FIRMS codes are critical, as they can use them to notify CBP of the exact location of a bonded shipment in case CBP needs to inspect it
- FIRMS codes are important as they assist warehouses to protect all goods under their jurisdiction and custody. CBP can notify the warehouse when the cargo is cleared for duty and tax purposes
- FIRMS codes come in handy and used by various parties involved in the international import processes. Whether they are freight forwarders, customs brokers or domestic and international carriers, the codes make all entry processes quick, and accountable for everybody involved with the movement of the freight.
What are CBP Schedule D Codes?
Schedule D codes are a CBP electronic database which consists of an elaborate list of customs districts in the USA. It is a very useful list which also comprises of names of all ports in each of the customs districts. CBP provides an updated list of schedule D codes here.
The Schedule D list has two columns, the first column lists the four-digit numeric code and the second column lists the name of the US port. The list is in numerical order based on the codes in the first column.
What are Schedule K Codes?
Schedule K codes are also known as foreign port codes. It is basically an international codes list which is maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Schedule K codes are recorded in such a way that they are grouped by the name of the foreign country and under each country the name of the port or city in that country. Each city or port has a specific and unique five-digit code. The list of Schedule K codes is found here.
The Schedule K list is in alphabetical order by country name, which makes it easy to locate the name of the city or port you are looking for.
FIRMS codes, Schedule D and K codes are an elaborate CBP system which facilitates all cargo entering the USA and keeps all trade chain partners accountable. Whether you are dealing with international or domestic carriers, these identifier codes are a critical part which provides for smooth running exportation and importation of all cargo in the USA.
Importers can easily track their goods, and bonded facilities are also able to safeguard, account for, and process all import goods coming and leaving their custody. The system also captures all data in relation to international trade.