FDA Bioterrorism Act

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Bioterrorism Act of 2002 Update

Maersk Line wishes to remind you of the FDA Prior Notice (PN) requirements for cargo transiting overland in the U.S.

The FDA will issue 'do not move' messages at the discharge port for any qualifying cargo which does not have Prior Notice (PN) filed.

Prior Notice of Imported Food Shipments:

  • This PN (prior notice) is applicable to all cargo which is U.S. final delivery or cargo being transported in bond either between U.S. ports for transshipment or from/to Canada or Mexico (Transportation and Exportation cargo, called “T&E” cargo).  Cargo being transshipped at the same port of discharge is not eligible.
  • Prior notice (PN) may be sent by anyone who has full knowledge of shipment details and it may be sent from any global location. This is typically filed by the shipper, consignee or entities such as brokers and forwarders working on their behalf.  Maersk Line will not be sending a PN on any shipments.
  • The FDA is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to send A hold message in AMS if the PN is not supplied, for qualifying shipments, when the U.S. Customs entry is made or within the specified time-frame for T&E cargo.
  • If cargo is put on hold by the FDA for lack of PN, it will be the responsibility of the cargo interests to contact the FDA and determine what FDA requires to satisfy the hold and trigger a release.


FDA has provided, on their website, a Help Desk which can be called, faxed or emailed to assist with Registration or Prior Notice questions or technical issues.

Please refer to the following FDA links for additional information:

General Bioterrorism Act Information
Prior Notice (PN)
Registration of Food Facilities