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New MSC Bill of Lading Prefix: MEDU

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is in the process of switching from its traditional bill of lading (BL) prefix code MSCU to the new prefix: MEDU.

The change affects documentation for cargo carriage worldwide, with bills of lading already being dispatched with the new prefix MEDU.

Transition Period

Shippers are advised that during a transition period, both prefixes – MSCU and MEDU – will be valid and be accepted, including by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

For Advanced Manifest System (AMS) filings in the USA, NVOCCs should use the same master bill of lading with the same prefix in order to match MSC transmissions and be accepted at customs.

For example:

  • If MSC issued the master bill of lading as MSCUABC123456, shippers should make the declaration to U.S. Customs using MSCUABC123456. 
  • If MSC issued the master bill of lading as MEDUABC123456, shippers should make the declaration to U.S. Customs using MEDUABC123456.
  • The declaration should not be transmitted as MSCU + MEDUABC123456, otherwise it will be rejected.

In spite of the change to the BL prefix, please note that MSC's carrier identification code remains MSCU.

Customers are invited to contact their local MSC agency and/or CBP client representative with any questions.