19 U.S.C. § 1431 : US Code - Section 1431: Manifests

    (a) In general
      Every vessel required to make entry under section 1434 of this
    title or obtain clearance under section 60105 of title 46 shall
    have a manifest that complies with the requirements prescribed
    under subsection (d) of this section.
    (b) Production of manifest
      Any manifest required by the Customs Service shall be signed,
    produced, delivered or electronically transmitted by the master or
    person in charge of the vessel, aircraft, or vehicle, or by any
    other authorized agent of the owner or operator of the vessel,
    aircraft, or vehicle in accordance with the requirements prescribed
    under subsection (d) of this section. A manifest may be
    supplemented by bill of lading data supplied by the issuer of such
    bill. If any irregularity of omission or commission occurs in any
    way in respect to any manifest or bill of lading data, the owner or
    operator of the vessel, aircraft or vehicle, or any party
    responsible for such irregularity, shall be liable for any fine or
    penalty prescribed by law with respect to such irregularity. The
    Customs Service may take appropriate action against any of the
    (c) Public disclosure of certain manifest information
      (1) Except as provided in subparagraph (2), the following
    information, when contained in a vessel vessel (!1) or aircraft
    manifest, shall be available for public disclosure:

        (A) The name and address of each importer or consignee and the
      name and address of the shipper to such importer or consignee,
      unless the importer or consignee has made a biennial
      certification, in accordance with procedures adopted by the
      Secretary of the Treasury, claiming confidential treatment of
      such information.
        (B) The general character of the cargo.
        (C) The number of packages and gross weight.
        (D) The name of the vessel, aircraft, or carrier.
        (E) The seaport or airport of loading.
        (F) The seaport or airport of discharge.
        (G) The country of origin of the shipment.
        (H) The trademarks appearing on the goods or packages.

      (2) The information listed in paragraph (1) shall not be
    available for public disclosure if - 
        (A) the Secretary of the Treasury makes an affirmative finding
      on a shipment-by-shipment basis that disclosure is likely to pose
      a threat of personal injury or property damage; or
        (B) the information is exempt under the provisions of section
      552(b)(1) of title 5.

      (3) The Secretary of the Treasury, in order to allow for the
    timely dissemination and publication of the information listed in
    paragraph (1), shall establish procedures to provide access to
    manifests. Such procedures shall include provisions for adequate
    protection against the public disclosure of information not
    available for public disclosure from such manifests.
    (d) Regulations
      (1) In general
        The Secretary shall by regulation - 
          (A) specify the form for, and the information and data that
        must be contained in, the manifest required by subsection (a)
        of this section;
          (B) allow, at the option of the individual producing the
        manifest and subject to paragraph (2), letters and documents
        shipments to be accounted for by summary manifesting
          (C) prescribe the manner of production for, and the delivery
        for electronic transmittal of, the manifest required by
        subsection (a) of this section; and
          (D) prescribe the manner for supplementing manifests with
        bill of lading data under subsection (b) of this section.
      (2) Letters and documents shipments
        For purposes of paragraph (1)(B) - 
          (A) the Customs Service may require with respect to letters
        and documents shipments - 
            (i) that they be segregated by country of origin, and
            (ii) additional examination procedures that are not
          necessary for individually manifested shipments;

          (B) standard letter envelopes and standard document packs
        shall be segregated from larger document shipments for purposes
        of customs inspections; and
          (C) the term "letters and documents" means - 
            (i) data described in General Headnote 4(c) of the
          Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States,
            (ii) securities and similar evidences of value described in
          heading 4907 of such Schedule, but not monetary instruments
          defined pursuant to chapter 53 of title 31, and
            (iii) personal correspondence, whether on paper, cards,
          photographs, tapes, or other media.