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December, 2016

ACE Availability Dashboard keeps filers up-to-date

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

US Customs’ ACE Availability Dashboard provides a visual graphic of the current status of all ACE Application Servers and presents key availability and business metrics to all members of the international trade community, PGAs, and software developers.

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 9.34.38 AM


The ACE Availability Dashboard can be reviewed daily to determine if ACE is operating normally, has experienced degraded performance and slowed down, or becomes unavailable due to network, component, or other system failures.

Past week, month, and quarter statistics are also available on the dashboard tool. CBP will also publish any additional announcements communicated via CSMS concerning the availability of ACE on this page.


ACE: Free CBP drawback seminar on January 4

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016


New ACE drawback functionality is going live on January 14.  Are you ready?

On January 4, from 11am – noon EST, the ACE Business Office of US Customs will host a technical webinar on the new drawback functionality.  After a demonstration of the system, a question and answer session will be held to address any technical, business, operations, and policy questions.


Check out this San Diego conference featuring a sustainable supply chain overview by Taylor Guitars

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), joined together as the Trading Partner Alliance (TPA),* are pleased to host their annual Supply Chain Conference April 30 – May 2, 2017 in sunny San Diego!

Now in its eighth year, over 500 retailers, manufacturers, and technology solution providers will convene for a joint conference filled with idea-stimulating educational sessions, interactive exhibits with the latest technology and relationship-building networking opportunities.

One of this event’s highlights will be:

Cultivating a Sustainable Future for the Guitar Industry Supply Chain
Charlie Redden, Director of Supply Chain, Taylor Guitars 

  • Charlie Redden is Director of Supply Chain for Taylor Guitars, a leading acoustic guitar manufacturer in the musical instrument industry.
  • Redden will discuss the complexity of a global supply chain, the diminishing supplies of tropical tonewoods that have long been relied upon by instrument makers, and the innovative steps Taylor Guitars has taken to safeguard these precious resources for the entire industry by partnering with forestry experts to develop new paradigms of sustainable forestry.
  • Redden will also share the valuable lessons he learned living in Cameroon as Taylor worked to transform an ebony mill and the ebony trade, the big-picture vision of cultivating tonewood forests for future generations, and his experience in managing a multi-layered international supply chain.

Register by January 31, 2017 to receive $100 off your registration fees!








*The Trading Partner Alliance (TPA) is a joint industry affairs/industry relations leadership group that was formed by GMA and FMI in January 2009. The TPA exists to develop a shared retailer-manufacturer agenda on supply chain efficiency issues, the application of information technology, the adoption of environmentally-friendly business practices and other issues. This common agenda is executed jointly by the FMI and GMA staffs and is overseen by the boards of directors of both organizations.

FDA/CBP webinar on FDA supplemental guidance for ACE on 12/13

Thursday, December 8th, 2016




FDA and CBP will host a webinar on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 2:30 pm Eastern Time.  The purpose of the webinar is to review updates to FDA’s Supplemental Guidance for ACE Version 2.5 and the related PGA Samples.  The link to the FDA Supplemental Guide and Samples will be posted to and a “Supplemental CSMS” will be issued with that link as soon as possible.


To participate in this webinar:

Join by phone

  • Local: 1-301-796-7777
  • toll free: 1-855-828-1770
  • Cisco Unified Meeting Place meeting ID: 745 429 430

Or click here and join by phone once you are on WebEx


Cynthia Allen Schenk Joins CustomsNow as New VP of Sales

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016



CustomsNow™ continues to grow!  As you can see from this press release, we’re excited to announce that Cynthia Allen Schenk has joined our executive team as Vice President of Sales.  Cynthia is a well-known figure in the supply chain industry with over 30 years of executive level experience in logistics, 3PL, trade finance, Customs compliance and executive recruiting.

We look forward to Cynthia’s contributions that will empower our clients –  importers, brokers and other 3rd parties — who need ABI connectivity and automation for themselves or their customers in their US import and export processes.


ACE: CustomNow’s Nic Adams on FDA’s new final rule on import entry

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016



The FDA just published a Final Rule in the Federal Register regarding requirements for the submission of information to the ACE.

It is now mandated that select data elements be submitted into ACE at the time of entry for FDA-regulated articles to include foods, human and animal drugs, medical devices, biological products, human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps), radiation-emitting electronic products, cosmetics, and tobacco products.

Nic Adams, Vice President of Client Services of CustomsNow, with over 30 years of strong customs compliance and global supply chain industry experience, adds the following commentary:

Nic Adams

Nic Adams

  • Much of the new rule is codifying the way things are today.  But it also shows the interplay between the FDA, who many would say did a ‘data grab’ with FDA message set, and the trade.  And, it clarifies the changes from the old process and the new.  Many are pretty exciting for us that have been battling/frustrated with the FDA for many, many years.
  • The fact that FDA is moving to a risk-based system is something the trade has been clamoring for over many years.  And to let the system make the determination in the majority of instances vs an FDA employee speeds things up greatly.
    • The average time for an FDA-reviewer to manually review and issue a “May Proceed” determination in ACS from August 27 to October 22, 2015, was about 28 hours and that has been reduced to under 2 hours in ACE
  • FDA rejected comments that it should make Device Listing Numbers (LSTs) publicly available, and decline to make the requested revisions to the requirement to submit the LST (i.e., permit the use of “UNK” instead of the LST).  This is problematic because importers often do not have access to this information at the time of entry.  But it appears that FDA erred on the side of keeping LSTS confidential: “The confidentiality of LSTs serves important public health interests and helps to prevent the importation of substandard, mislabeled, and counterfeit medical devices.”
  • It’s quite surprising that no one commented on radiation emitting devices.  I would have also requested that the registration information be made available to the public, but FDA probably would have used the same argument as they did with LSTs.
  • FDA has revised § 1.90 to allow FDA to provide notice of sampling directly rather than through the “collector of customs” which will normally happen through a secure electronic system.  No more waiting for your detention notice to show up in the mail!  Very nice.




ACE: CBP offers free webinars on reconciliation (recon) starting this week

Monday, December 5th, 2016


CBP’s Office of Trade will be hosting a free webinar series starting Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 1:30pm, EST. The purpose of the webinars is to answer any questions from the trade regarding Reconciliation and its transition from ACS to ACE. Please click on the following links to register:

  • 12/8 1:30pm EST: Register here
  • 12/15 1:30pm EST: Register here
  • 12/22 1:30pm EST: Register here

Additionally, CustomsNow™ offers a reconciliation service using our advanced, ACE-certified technology.  You decide how much or how little help you need with the filings. Then CustomsNow™ completes the transmission and submission to CBP.  Learn more.

After the election, what’s next in international trade?

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

JDG LOGO croppedJohn Goodrich, of JD Goodrich & Associates, is an expert in US import, export logistics and regulatory compliance issues, and has published a thoughtful piece on the status of international trade after the US presidential election.

Among his musings, he suggested that “NAFTA and TPP in particular were scapegoated as job killers.”  Not so, says John, and backs up his assertion with hard data (imagine that in a “post-factual” world).

John did offer his assessment that “TPP is dead…for now” and that “NAFTA will survive,” particularly because President-elect Trump cannot unilaterally disentangle the US from that treaty.

Check out his full post, including his thoughts on the state of US trade enforcement, here.

Free webinar on FTZs on 12/13 by US Fashion Industry Assn

Thursday, December 1st, 2016


From our friends at the US Fashion Industry Association:

  • The Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs) Program offers special procedures and benefits that help to promote American competitiveness and encourage US activity. An overview of the program will include financial and operational benefits, application and activation, compliance and best practices, and current hot topics including 321.
  • Join Trudy Huguet, Director of FTZ Services and Jennifer VanGundy, Compliance Manager at GEODIS, USFIA’s Customs Broker Partner, for a 30-minute webinar to recap this important program and to determine how you might benefit from becoming a foreign-trade zone user.
  • This webinar is part of USFIA’s Coffee Break Series, bringing you 30-minute, high-level webinars covering critical topics, so every level of your organization can access USFIA’s information and intelligence.
  • This free webinar will be recorded and distributed to everyone who registers–so register even if you can’t join live!