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January, 2012

ACE: Microsoft IE 8 security patch removal

Friday, January 27th, 2012

US Customs has reported that the recently released Microsoft Internet Explorer version 8 security patch KB2585542 is not compatible with the current ACE application and has resulted in slow Portal performance.

While CBP works to find a resolution, the agency has proposed a potential interim solution — the removal of the security patch. Customs has provided steps “to back out the Microsoft Internet Explorer version 8 security patch KB2585542.”  The official notice containing the removal steps can be found here.   (Per CBP, these steps are not to be considered official guidance by Microsoft and are to be used at the ACE account owner’s discretion.)

Brokers: triennial status reports due by Feb 27

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

As mandated by 19 CFR 111.30(d), all individuals, partnerships, corporations or associations that hold a Customs broker license(s) must submit a triennial status report and accompanying $100 fee by February 27, 2012.  Submissions must be made to the director of the port that originally issued the license to the broker, not CBP headquarters.  Failure to make a timely submission will result in a suspension of the broker’s license.

US Customs has published a list of helpful FAQs for the triennial reports, which also include a link to a sample report.

Port of Long Beach’s Middle Harbor “green” project expected to move forward

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The Port of Long Beach has reached a tentative agreement with Orient Overseas Container Line to complete the port’s long-awaited Middle Harbor project.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the nation’s second busiest port and OOCL, the world’s 12th largest ocean shipping line, will spend a combined $1.7 billion on the 300 acre project, which “is expected to be one of the greenest and most advanced cargo terminals” in the US.  When complete, the Middle Harbor terminal will have the capacity to handle 3 million cargo containers.

Middle Harbor “by itself would rank as the fourth busiest seaport in the nation.”  It will “add on-dock rail to eliminate truck trips and allow ships to plug into the electrical grid, eliminating the need for them to idle their diesel engines.”

The deal also contemplates that OOCL will take a 40-year, $4.6 billion lease.

The full story,  “$4.6 billion lease being finalized at Long Beach port,” is available here.

CBP’s Centers of Excellence working well for CE, pharma importers

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Under the tenure of former Commissioner Alan Bersin, CBP strived to facilitate trade.  In that regard, one of Customs’ significant accomplishments has been the launch of two Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), a collaborative effort between the agency and the trade.

As reported in American Shipper, the CEEs were created to expedite processing of imports in two different industries – consumer electronics in Los Angeles and pharmaceuticals in New York.  To develop the program, CPB worked closely with a select group of importers in each industry (who were also enrolled in C-TPAT and ISA).

In the pilot program for pharmaceuticals which lead to the launch of the CEEs,

…small teams of [CBP] commodity specialists trained with leading pharmaceutical companies to learn how their supply chains operate and monitored the way CBP examines cargo from trusted shippers.  The units identified which shippers are at risk for regulatory violations or government-caused shipping delays.  CBP officials say they found many non-productive exams and document reviews being conducted, or cargo detained for clerical rather than substantive reasons.  The experts then educated officers at ports how to make better decisions about whether to hold, examine or release consignments, thereby removing unnecessary holds for low-risk cargo.

Given the success of the pilot, the two CEEs officially launched in LA and NY.  Required import documents for these two industries are now routed to the respective industry centers for validation, protest, PEAs/PSCs and more.  Revenue collection will still occur in the ports of entry.

Although there are still issues related to legal, policy, personnel and process before the centers “achieve full operational processing capabilities,” CBP plans to roll out additional CEEs for the following industries:

  • Agriculture and prepared products
  • Automotive and aerospace
  • Base metals and machinery
  • Consumer products
  • Customs brokers
  • Industrial and manufacturing materials
  • Petroleum, natural gas and chemicals
  • Textiles, apparel and footwear

The full article, “Customer service at the border,” is available here (site registration required).

ACE — emphasis and participation growing

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

As reported in American Shipper, the number of entries filed in ACE (as opposed to ACS, which is being phased out), has increased from 1% to 3% as of November 2011, a small yet signficant jump.  This is no doubt due to recent ACE enhancements, as well as the growing encouragement by CBP, and National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, for the trade to transition to filing entries in the ever-improving ACE.

US Customs’s emphasis on ACE is quite apparent from the agency’s 2011 ACE Wrap-up:

January

  • CBP hosted a Webinar for brokers and importers on Working with ACE Forms and Declarations

February

  • CBP deployed fixes to AD/CVD Messages and the Entry Summary Universe report dates

April

  • CBP made a security update to the ACE Portal discontinuing the use of SSL 
protocol while maintaining the use of the TLS protocol
  • CBP hosted the 2011 Trade Symposium

May

  • A revised version of the Entry Summary Business Rules and Process Document 
was posted to CBP.gov

June

  • The first PSC entry summary was filed successfully in ACE production
  • A draft version of the PGA Message Set was posted to CBP.gov CBP successfully 
deployed Post Summary Corrections
  • An updated version of the Post Summary Corrections Web Based Training was 
made available to the trade

July

  • A link was provided from the ACE Portal to the Importer Security Filing (ISF) Portal for accounts to receive their monthly ISF Progress Reports
  • CBP began sharing data from the ACE Truck e-Manifest system with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

August

  • e-Manifest: Rail and Sea Web Based Training was made available to the trade
  • CBP successfully deployed ACE e-Manifest: Rail and Sea

September

  • CBP hosted a Webinar for brokers and importers on Post Summary Corrections
  • Mandatory use of post summary corrections for entry summaries file in ACE
  • CBP delivered the new Courtesy Notice of Liquidation Report
  • CBP hosted the Trade Support Network Plenary session

October

  • CBP hosted a Webinar for importers on the Courtesy Notice of Liquidation report

November

  • CBP began successfully accepting ocean manifests from trade participants in ACE

December

  • CBP began successfully accepting rail manifests from trade participants in ACE
  • Officers at Baltimore, Brownsville, and Buffalo began using
  • ACE M1 for all ocean 
and rail processing
  • CBP hosted a Webinar for rail and sea carriers on ACE portal navigation
  • CBP hosted a Webinar for rail and sea carriers, brokers and importers on running 
the new Multi-Modal Manifest Reports

The America Shipper article, “ACE participation picks up,” can be found here. (site registration required).  The ACE wrap-up, and other ACE related news, are available in CBP’s December 2011 ACE Trade Account Owner Update.