There are two important changes to submission of shipping instructions.

1. Harmonized System (HS) Code will become a mandatory requirement

Due to increasing focus on accurate commodity classification, Maersk will implement a global policy to obtain the 6-Digit Harmonized System (HS) code as part of shipping instructions for all export, transhipment and import cargo. This will enable Maersk to supply to authorities the right commodity information from the initial customs manifest declaration.

We are currently in a soft launch phase wherein we send an e-mail reminding you of the need for the missing HS code in case it was not included in the shipping instructions.

Beginning November 15, 2022, shipping instructions received with a missing or an incomplete 6-Digit HS code will not be processed. We will send you an e-mail requesting for the information to be provided. A draft bill of lading will not be available prior to receipt of the HS code.

How to submit the HS Code in shipping instructions

We have dedicated HS code fields available for you across all of our shipping instructions channels including EDI. Please refer to the below illustrations for and INTTRA.

The HS code field can be found in the cargo description section. In case of multiple HS codes, all the codes need to be listed out in the cargo description field.

New shipping instruction journey
Old shipping instruction / SSP Journey


The HS code field can be found in the cargo details section. In case of multiple HS codes, all the codes need to be listed out in the cargo description field.

Shipping Instructions submitted via INTTRA

2. Change in wording of the shipping instructions deadline

You may also notice a change in the shipping instruction deadline name in the coming weeks. We are transitioning from ‘Shipping Instruction Deadline for Advance Manifest Cargo’ to simply ‘Shipping Instruction Deadline’. As shipping instructions are required to comply with both Canadian and United States export regulations, this deadline will appear for all shipments from North America. Where an advance manifest regulation is applicable, we will continue to hold cargo at the load port if complete shipping instructions have not been received.

In case of any questions, please feel free to contact your local customer service representatives.

We thank you for your business and look forward to continuing to serve your global transportation needs.

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