The new policies are now part of USDA Cotton Storage Agreement.
One provision addresses bales made available for shipment (BMAS) which warehouses currently report weekly to USDA. Warehouses will continue to report this number weekly under the provisions of the Cotton Storage Agreement. However, bales not picked up (BNPU) cannot be counted as BMAS for longer than one week.
To keep track of whether a bale already has been counted, warehouses are required to send a summary file of all bale permanent bale identification (PBI) numbers weekly to EWR, Inc – the primary handler of electronic warehouse receipts in the US cotton industry. EWR coordinates with USDA which reviews the weekly BMAS numbers and monitors warehouses’ compliance with the bale reporting rules.
The second policy change pertains to merchants’ shipping orders or staging shipping orders. The USDA now requires warehouses to respond to any shipping order or staging shipping order received from a merchant with a ‘Shipping Order Update’ file within two business days. All shipment file communications will be provided to USDA, so the agency can monitor warehouses’ compliance. USDA has indicated that it also will be watching to determine whether shippers are replying (when necessary) to the warehouse with a shipping order update file.
“Implementation of policy recommendations will provide USDA with additional resources when reviewing warehouses’ performance. These changes should also help to alleviate miscommunication between warehouses and merchants and assist in providing traceability of data,” said Lauren Krogman, NCC’s manager of marketing and processing technology.
“The software will not be hard to utilise, especially if someone attends one of the scheduled sessions to receive proper training,” said EWR president/CEO Joe Wyrick. (PC)
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