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USA NVOCC Guidelines

Dear Customer,

As a reminder of the US Customs 24 HR law requirements, we would like to provide continued advice on the how we process Master and House bill submissions.
Instructions below will be strictly adhered effective July 4, 2018 and no alternate keywords will be accepted. The sole responsibility lies with customer to provide accurate details on the shipping instructions and these will be strictly adhered to with below key points that need to be followed:

1. If your intent is to submit House Bills of Lading to US Customs directly as an authorized Automated NVOCC/self-filer, then your shipping instructions must indicate the word “NVOCC or SCAC” to indicate the bill type as master. Please refrain from using any sentences or contradictory information. Shipping instructions without the indicator will be treated as regular bills of lading.  If no house bills are included with the master shipping instruction, we will submit the master to Customs with no associated house bills. The provider of the shipping instruction will be expected to ensure timely filing of house bills in accordance with Customs regulation.

2. If your intent is to have SeaLand submit House Bills of Lading, then your shipping instructions must indicate the word “NVOCC or SCAC” for the master bill type as outlined in 1 above. The associated house bills will be expected to be included with the master shipping instructions. We will file both the master and house bills together and timely in accordance with Customs regulations. If no house bills are included we will assume you have or will file them. 

3. House bill filing requests received post doc cut will not be accepted. This is in accordance with US 24-Hour law. In these cases, you may request your cargo be held until compliance to US 24-Hour law is established. Optionally, if the vessel has sailed you need to contract a service provider for submission of house bills.  

4. Customers sending the Master Shipping Instructions via different channels should mention the word NVOCC or SCAC to indicate bill type as master in free text: 

SeaLand customers – Can use the new feature of Master selection option via “Additional References” on the My SeaLand portal by logging in at

INTTRA - Shipper’s Memoranda, Additional Comments
EDI - Shipper’s memoranda
EDI – Only, customer who do not have free text option in the Shipping Instruction can use the “cargo description” to provide the information.
If you have any questions or need further guidance, our SeaLand Representatives are prepared to take care of you. Give us a call, email us at and we’ll be happy to help.
Vamos Juntos!