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October, 2011

Guidance for entry deletion and cancellation

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

US Customs recently updated its guidance on entry deletion and entry or entry summary cancellation to correct errors contained in the previous version.

An entry deletion refers to completely removing entry data from the system of record – either ACS or ACE.  Conversely, entry or entry summary cancellation refers to “rendering entry summary data inactive” in the system of record, although CBP will retain the entry summary data for historical purposes.

  • Entry deletion may only be used in very limited circumstances, and may be requested only up until CBP cargo release processing occurs and the provisional release notification is system generated.
  • Once the processing has occurred, then entry or entry summary cancellation must be used.   This encompasses situations such as where merchandise was denied admission by a PGA and either destroyed or exported, or where merchandised was seized at the port of entry.

The guidance also provides advice on requesting refunds of duties, fees and taxes on a cancelled entry summary, and discusses CBP policy on entry substitution and liquidated damages.

The guidance is available here.

Merchandise fee for processing (MPF) entries increases

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

On Friday, October 21, 2011, H.R. 2832 became law.  The main purpose of the statute is to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which expired on December 31, 2010, through July 31, 2013.   However, to offset the estimated cost of lost tariffs associated with expanding the GSP benefits, H.R. 2832 increases US Customs’ MPF, or merchandise fee for processing entries, (Class Code 499) from 0.21% to 0.3464%.

Currently, Customs is modifying the Automated Broker Interface to accept the new rate, which will apply to entries filed via ACS and ACE between October 1, 2011 and June 30, 2014.  CBP has indicated that it will provide the trade with one week’s notice before it is able to accept the new MPF rate.

Customs’ official notice regarding the rate increase can be found here.

September-October 2011 ACE Trade Account Owner Update

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

US Customs has just issued its September-October 2011 ACE Trade Account Owner Update.

Many of the update’s highlights have been covered recently in this blog:

Also of note in the update are:

  • Trade Outreach Webinars now available include “CBP Role of the Broker,” “CBP Account Management Restructuring,” and ”ACE Post Summary Corrections.”
  • Upcoming changes to data visibility for PSCs.

The ACE Trade Account Owner Update is available here.

Port of LA: “The traditional peak season has not materialized”

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Officials at the bellwether Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are bemoaning the apparent lack of a peak season.   According to the Los Angeles Times, port representatives have indicated that the annual “surge in holiday cargo headed to retailers’ shelves, which usually begins in August, is still nowhere to be seen.”

Both ports reported an unexpected decrease in cargo traffic and imports in September, and attribute it, not surprisingly, to a weakened world economic recovery and the continued threat of a double dip recession.

The full article, “Cargo surge takes a holiday at L.A., Long Beach ports,” is available here.

Highlights from the Trade Support Network (TSN) plenary session

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

The Trade Support Network (TSN), a group of trade representatives who provide input to US Customs for the design and development of modernization projects, such as ACE, met in Arlington, VA,  for its plenary session last month.   Following is a summary of the highlights of the meetings.

Overall Message

In the current economic state, TSN’s priority is to help US Customs drive down costs for both importers and CBP, such as less exams of cargo and simplified entry processing.    CBP is under significant pressure from Congress to get ACE up-and-running in order to receive funding to complete the project.  Customs must show that entries are being filed in ACE and parts of ACS are being turned off.

Agency Structure

Cindy Allen, formerly with the trade, joined CBP around 1 year ago and is in charge (Exec. Director, ACE Business Office, OIT).  She is doing a fantastic job of getting ACE back on track and has a great understanding of how it’s going to work.    She has a new boss in Allen Gina, a 29 year veteran of CBP, and a new Exec. Director, Cargo Systems and Program Office, OIT, in LindaJacksta.  Rich DiNucci, who headed up 10+2, is also on the team now.

Post Summary Corrections

As reported in this blog on September 20, PSC functionality was delivered June 4, and it became mandatory to file PSCs instead ofPEAs effective last month.  PSCs may be filed 270 calendar days from date of entry, but cannot be filed within 20 calendar days of the scheduled liquidation date.  Filers can request “accelerated liquidation” to get a quick bill/refund but then will forfeit an opportunity to file another PSC.   It’s a full-replace of the entry and CBP will maintain all versions of entries.  Importers should ensure that their ABI applications also keep versions of the entry before filing PSCs in order to keep an adequate record of their transactions with CBP.

Additionally, when the PSC is filed, the entry goes into “customs status” and CBP will remove the scheduled liquidation date.  Currently filers can query the entry to get some insight as to the status, but long term there will be a UC message to all filers associated with the entry detailing the status and new liquidation information.  Most PSCs filed to date (around 100) were a “pass through” meaning they did not require CBP involvement.  Note to brokers: You should review your powers of attorney to make sure your clients haven’t limited your ability to file PSCs.

Cargo Release

For this project, there is a new approach to requirement gathering – A Concept of Operations (CONOPS) has been created and all requirements mapped back to the CONOPS.  Currently they are detailing the system requirement, with input from the trade and CBP field offices.  These functional requirements, and the functional decomposition should be completed by June 2012.  The goal is to deploy a subset of functionality within the next 18 months (then turn off selectivity in ACS)

E-Manifest: Rail & Sea

Allows holds to be placed/removed at the conveyance, container, master bill level as well as the house bill of lading level.  CBP will provide brokers with a “broker download” to assist in populating the entry header.  Nine early adopters will begin filing their manifest in this new system in the coming weeks in 3 ports.  ETA for full deployment is January 2012, then CBP will begin decommissioning AMS in ACE.  This will enable true visibility on which PGA has held merchandise and the reason for the hold.

ACE Technical Discussion (Linda Jacksta)

Remaining In-Scope:  E-Manifest, Cargo Processing and release, Remaining Entry Types, Collections (lots of emphasis), and Exports.  Trying to leverage existing functionality with ACE or any other federal agency systems.

Entry Simplification

See our blog post of October 4 for details.

PGA Panel Discussion

FDA is replacing OASIS with MARCS at the end of this year.  A component of MARCS is PREDICT which allows FDA to automatically validate AoC qualifiers.  No more AoC codes will be required in ACE as they will be mapped based on the field definition.  Filers will have better visibility to the status and can receive their Notice of Sampling via the system.

Free importer webinar on ACE courtesy notice report

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

As discussed in this blog last month, with the termination of paper courtesy notices of liquidation program,  CBP has reprogrammed ACE to allow an importer of record to establish its own ACE Portal Account to monitor entry filings made by a customs broker using the importer’s IOR number.

Now, Customs is offering guidance on running and managing these reports with a free webinar to be held next Wednesday, October 12 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST.  Register for the webinar here.

For more information about the webinar, view US Customs’ official notice here.


				

Take the ACE user survey

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

US Customs is requesting that all ACE Portal users take a short customer satisfaction survey.  This is an opportunity to provide feedback on what’s working and what needs improving in ACE.

The survey, which can be found here, will be available until October 19.

Simplified entry process pilot expected soon

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

US Customs said last week that it has made great strides towards establishing a simplified entry process.  After having worked closely on this issue with the Trade Support Network, a group representing the trade, CBP said to expect a Federal Register notice soon to announce a trial program and solicit participants.

The simplified entry is designed to reduce the number of documentation requirements on the entry, which will streamline the process and reduce costs for both importers and Customs.  The majority of the ISF data elements, but not all, will be required fields.  It will also include additional data elements, such as 10-digit HTS code, estimated value, and an entry number; however, importers will no longer need to be concerned with including the manifest quantity.

Simplified entries will be available for ocean, air, rail, and truck shipments.  Importers must be in Tier 2 or Tier 3 of the C-TPAT program, file their simplified entries in ACE, and meet a few other requirements to avail themselves of the new program.

More details on the simplified entry program are available in the American Shipper article, “CBP makes headway on simplified entry,” available here.  (site registration required for access to entire article).  In addition, Customs has provided additional information in the “Simplified Processes Fact Sheet,” which is posted on AAEI’s website.