WASHINGTON — Following last year’s terrorist attacks, retailers and importers of apparel and textiles have rallied behind a U.S. Customs Service effort to keep weapons or biohazardous material from being smuggled in the 6 million cargo containers ferried to U.S. ports each year.

However, a recent Customs directive is now causing strain between importers and agency officials. At issue is a proposal requiring ocean carriers to have containers sealed and accompanied by a detailed list of cargo 24 hours before being loaded onto a U.S.-bound vessel.

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