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What is Advanced Qualified Unlading Authorization (AQUA) Lane?

Advanced Qualified Unlading Authorization (AQUA) Lane is a “fast lane” for sea carriers and low risk vessels in the CTPAT program that are entering the US from foreign ports.

Mount Rushmore

AQUA Lane allows vessels to unlade upon arrival, prior to US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) being present. The AQUA Lane process saves vessels time and resources that would otherwise be necessary while awaiting clearance by US CBP.

The AQUA Lane Process

AQUA Lane increases the dependability and predictability of the maritime supply chain process.

AQUA Lane Eligibility

To be eligible for AQUA Lane:

  • Sea carrier must be a validated CTPAT member
  • Containers must be transported directly to a validated CTPAT Marine Port Terminal Operator
  • Request must be completed for each voyage at least 24 hours ahead of estimated arrival for unlading at each port
  • Cargo must be considered low risk and in compliance with all other CBP requirements (including trade and agriculture) 

Additional Supply Chain Benefits to AQUA Lane 


  • Better allocation of resources and manpower
  • Better managed demand and scheduling
  • More time to focus on higher risk carriers 


  • Quicker, more dependable supply chains
  • Expedited processing time for imported goods

Low Risk Sea Carriers

  • Predictable unlading time for labor and cost purposes
  • Quicker turnaround time in port
  • Move to next port
  • Save time and fuel

Marine Port Terminal Operator

  • Clears port of vessels
  • Improves resumption possibilities
  • Better managed demand and scheduling
  • Better allocation of resources and manpower

Chassis Companies

  • Save time, fuel, and resources

If you have any questions on how you can qualify for AQUA Lane, please reach out to our Commercial CHB team.

Any questions?

Our experts are ready to help. Get in touch.

DSV representative