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April, 2012

ACE: report sharing now available

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

US Customs has just announced the launch of shared reporting functionality in ACE, adding to the already robust ACE reporting features.

Specifically, all ACE report users can now share customized reports with any user of their account who has access to ACE reports.  The good news is that this eliminates the need for multiple users to create the same or similar reports — all can refer to one source document.

CBP has published guidance on creating and using shared reports, including screen shots and tips on managing shared reports.  The latter is especially important since any account user with access to ACE reports can post, modify or delete reports from the shared folder.  The guidance is available here.

FDA system upgrades improve import process

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The US Food & Drug Administration has been working for several years to replace their legacy import system (OASIS) with a more intelligent, risk-based application which will benefit both FDA and the trade.  The new system actually consists of three systems:

  1. Predictive Risk-based Evaluation for Dynamic Import Compliance Targeting (PREDICT) allows FDA to use risk-based algorithms when targeting import shipments for inspection of the documents and/or cargo.  It also automates the lookup function on their side to the various Centers’ databases to validate that Affirmation of Compliance numbers are valid which should speed up the review and approval process.
  2. Import Trade Auxiliary Communications Systems (ITACS) allows importers or “anyone that knows the entry number” to submit their documents electronically to the FDA, check on the current status of their entry, and notify the FDA of the preferred exam site.  ITACS can be found here.
  3. Mission Accomplishments and Regulatory Compliance Servers (MARCS) allows FDA to view documents and exam information sent to them via ITACS.

To learn more about these programs,  you can view the agency’s FAQs.

For those direct filing with the CustomsNow system, these changes do not require any updates to our application or the way in which you declare entries to FDA.  Rather, they are stand-alone applications which augment the ABI data feeds to and from the FDA.

We encourage you to contact the FDA offices with which you work to determine if they are operational on these systems so that you can take advantage of this enhanced process.

Yet another delay for ABI air in-bond (QX/WX) functionality

Monday, April 16th, 2012

US Customs has announced that the launch of ABI air in-bond functionality, delayed several times since 2009, has been postponed until at least July 2012.  The delay is a result of CBP’s dedication of resources to other priorities:  the recent deployment of  sea and rail manifest (M1) functionality, as well as the imminent deployment of the simplified entry project.

Customs emphasized that the July 2012 deployment timeframe is “very loose.”

CBP’s official notice is available here.

Early bird registration for AAEI Conference expires soon!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Register for the 91st Annual AAEI Conference and Expo by April 20th and received the early bird registration rate.

Mark your calendar for the event, which will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA, from June 3 through 5.  Keynote speakers include David V. Aguilar, Acting Commissioner, US Customs and Border Protection, and Howard Sklamberg, J.D., Acting Principal Deputy Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs for the US Food and Drug Administration.

Additional information, including registration and pricing, can be found here.

Simplified entry pilot nears rollout

Friday, April 6th, 2012

As discussed previously in this blog, US Customs is set to begin a pilot program for simplified entry this spring.  The pilot, which will be undertaken in three ports (Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta), will include nine broker participants:  A.N. Deringer, Inc., Expeditors, FedEx Trade Networks, FH Kaysing, Janel Group of New York, Kuehne + Nagel Inc., Livingston International, Page & Jones Inc., and UPS.

The purpose of the pilot is succinctly defined by CBP as follows:

Simplified Entry provides importers with the chance to file earlier in the process with a streamlined filing, which can be amended – a first-time feature for the Trade. Because the Simplified Entry can be filed earlier, this allows for an expanded window of opportunity to identify potential risks to CBP. The capability for filers to update information will result in more accurate data for CBP, thereby enhancing cargo security.

Simplified entries must be filed in ACE, signaling the importance that the agency is placing on the successor system to AMS.

Division Director Steve Hilsen of the Office of International Trade addressed Simplified Entry pilot participants and CBP at the Chicago Field Office.

In advance of pilot kickoff, CBP held meetings for the trade in the three pilot ports, and discussed the initial rollout for air cargo, the first mode of transportation to be tested.

Customs’ coverage of the meetings can be found here, and the slide deck provided to attendees is available here.

ACE mandatory for sea and rail manifests on September 29

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The 6-month countdown has begun.

After a successful pilot program (known as M1),  US Customs has announced that ACE will be the only CBP-approved EDI for transmitting required advance information for ocean and rail cargo to CBP, effective September 29, 2012.

As of that date, AMS will no longer be available for this purpose.

Here’s some additional information on scope of the M1 pilot:

To date, 24 trade participants have completed the certification testing described in the M1 test notice and are transmitting their advance ocean and rail cargo information in ACE. Another 11 trade participants are currently involved in certification testing. The port of Baltimore, Maryland began utilizing ACE for processing ocean cargo on November 30, 2011. The ports of Buffalo, New York and Brownsville, Texas began using ACE for processing ocean and rail cargo on December 5, 2011. To date, 91 ports are using ACE for ocean and/or rail processing.

Clearly, the march to full utilization of ACE is well underway.

The official Federal Register notice of the transition to ACE for e-Manifests (sea and rail) is available here.