October 1, 1998

On September 28, 1998, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to Title 44 U.S.C. 3509 and 3510 transferred primary responsibility for central collection and publication of certain information concerning U.S. foreign waterborne transportation statistics from the Bureau of the Census (Census) to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). This designation as central collection agency will permit the Corps to fully meet the data needs for U.S. foreign waterborne transportation statistics currently fulfilled by Census with the purpose of improving the efficiency of data production, timeliness and accuracy of published reports while preserving the confidentiality of foreign trade data as provided in 13 U.S.C., 301(g), and without imposing any new reporting burdens on the public. The legal authority for the compilation and publication of waterborne transportation statistics by the Corps is the River and Harbor Act of September 22, 1922 (42 Stat.1043) as amended and codified in 33 U.S.C. 555. These data are collected for statistical purposes only and not used for any enforcement or regulatory purposes.

As central collection agency for the U.S. Foreign Waterborne Transportation Statistics Program (hereinafter referred to as the "program"), the Corps will plan and direct necessary program transition and preparation activities in the current fiscal year, assure the full cooperation of affected Federal agencies and assume full responsibility for directing and conducting the program beginning in fiscal year 1999 (October 1, 1998), corresponding with data production for the July 1998 statistical month.

The Corps will acquire data from all sources needed to produce those tabulations previously provided by Census, specifically (1) acquire and compile (with assistance from the Maritime Administration, MarAd) vessel movement data from Customs Forms 1400 and 1401 and the Customs Automated CF1400/1401 Program to produce the monthly and annual TM/TA385, "Inbound Vessel Movements" and TM/TA785, "Outbound Vessel Movements," (2) acquire and compile inbound in-transit data from the Customs Form 7512 and the Customs Automated Manifest System (AMS) import in-bond records, (3) acquire and compile outbound in-transit data from vessel manifests and the Commerce Form 7513 (or a similar document approved by OMB), Customs AMS export in-bond records and Census' Automated Export Reporting Program (AERP), (4) process the import and export waterborne extracts and any other necessary source data from information compiled by Census to produce the monthly and annual TM/TA381, "Import Waterborne Detail File," and TM/TA781, "Export Waterborne Detail File" and the monthly and annual public use TM/TA380, "Import Waterborne Databank File," and TM/TA780, "Export Waterborne Databank File."

This transfer of responsibility also includes production of the quarterly and annual TQTA985, "U.S. Waterborne Exports and General Imports" and the TA987, "Annual Vessel Entrances and Clearances" reports. The Corps and MarAd will also distribute historical public use U.S. foreign transportation data (prior to July 1998).

In addition, the Corps, with MarAd assistance, will be responsible for acquiring and tabulating information to produce the annual Ice Patrol Report for the U.S. Department of State. The Corps, also with MarAd assistance, will assume responsibility for maintaining and updating the Schedule K, "Classification of Foreign Ports by Geographic Trade Area and Country," used to identify the foreign port of lading or unlading in the import and export waterborne data files. The Corps and MarAd have agreed to maintain the Schedule K reference, provide quarterly updates to Census for data reporting and processing purposes, respond to inquiries on foreign ports, name changes and new codes, and generate an annual revised publication for Census distribution beginning with January 1999.

Until September 30, 1998, for further information on U.S. foreign waterborne transportation data, please contact:

Chief, Transportation Statistics Branch
Foreign Trade Division
Bureau of the Census
Telephone: (301) 457-2317
Facsimile: (301) 457-1237
E-mail: albert.a.csellar@ccmail.census.gov

After September 30, 1998 and for information on July 1998 and future months' U.S. foreign waterborne transportation statistics, including U.S. foreign waterborne transportation data available prior to July 1998, please contact:

Office of Statistical & Economic Analysis
Maritime Administration
Department of Transportation
Telephone: (202) 366-2316
Facsimile: (202) 366-8886
E-mail: norman.tague@marad.dot.gov