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ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)

ACE: Successful PGA Pilot for entries involving FDA and NHTSA

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

seal_acePer US Customs’ CSMS #15-000623:

Last week, [CBP] initiated the first Phase (I) of the PGA Pilots.  [FDA] and [NHTSA] entry data transactions were successfully transmitted, accepted and processed in [ACE].  The second Phase (II) of the PGA Pilots is scheduled to begin on September 2, 2015, with an expansion to additional ports.

In advance of the November 1, 2015 ACE mandatory filing date, CBP has also published a comprehensive overview of the schedule of PGAs and ports participating in the PGA Pilot.



2014 ACE User Satisfaction Survey Results

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015



Following are the high level results of US Customs’ January/February 2015 survey of the trade on satisfaction with ACE in calendar year 2014.  There were about 200 respondents, of which 93% were ACE users.

  • Based on the 1-year and 4-year trends, trade user satisfaction rates increased and dissatisfaction rates decreased
  • For ACE features deployed through Deployment A – D, trade users were most satisfied with entry summary features and least satisfied with PGA related processes
  • Trade users were satisfied with their assigned client representatives:  73% Satisfied / 16% Neutral / 11% Dissatisfied
  • Trade users were quite aware of the November 1, 2015 mandatory use date:  91%
  • Among all trade respondents, Brokers/Self Filers anticipate filing 100% of their Entry/ES before Nov. 1, 2015 as below:
    • Before  Jul. 4, 2015 – 36%
    • Jul. 4 – Oct. 1, 2015 – 32%
    • Oct. 1 – Nov. 1, 2015 – 32%

CBP also identified 22 new trade users’ requirements, based on the following respondents’ concerns:

  • Ease of use
  • System functionality
  • Reports
  • General ACE system
  • Training



ACE: TSN seeks committee members to address upcoming post-release functionality

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

seal_aceThe Entry Committee of the Trade Support Network (TSN), an advisory board of trade representatives that provides guidance to US Customs on ACE issues, is seeking members of the trade for help in working through matters on forthcoming ACE functionality.  Specifically, the organization:

“…would like to establish Trade Working Groups to discuss upcoming requirements and capabilities for Post Release functionality development that began in Increment 10 and will extend to future Increments.  Specifically, we are looking for trade volunteers to participate in the following three working groups:

    • Drawback
    • Reconciliation
    • Liquidation/Protest

In order to make these discussions manageable and productive, we would like no more than 10 trade members per working group (members can sign up for multiple working groups).

Once the working group members have been identified, we are targeting scheduling several on site sessions [in Washington, DC], beginning the week of August 17th or August 24th.  Your input on which week is preferable would be appreciated. Each group will have one full day to meet with the ESAR Team (either Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday).  Once we hold our first meeting, we will determine whether additional on-site meetings or teleconferences will be required.”

If you’re qualified and interested, please contact Amy Magnus [] and Lee Sandler [] with Working Group preference and availability for meetings week/day of August 17th and week/day of August 24th.

The TSN provides a forum for the discussion of significant modernization and automation efforts with the trade community. There are approximately 300 members of the TSN that represent the entire breadth of the trade community, including trade associations, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, sureties and others.




Please reach out to the TSN Committees with a request for QUALIFIED (i.e., have subject matter expertise in the referenced areas) volunteers to participate in these working groups and provide us the following information:

Update on Port of LA’s paper workaround for paperless ACE air manifest cargo releases

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

seal_aceRecently, we discussed glitches in ACE that prevented carriers from seeing release messages for air cargo, even though the filers receive paperless releases in ACE.  To address the issue, the Port of Los Angeles announced a paper-based workaround, which was extended through July 31, 2015.

While the overall air manifest environment is improving in performance, technical issues remain.  Therefore, the Port of LA has extended the paper workaround until further notice, and has provided additional guidance for the trade.

For details, see Acting LAX Port Director Donald R. Kusser’s memo:   Notice to the Trade – July 29, 2015 Update


Importing wildlife into the US? Get involved in FWS ACE working group

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015



The International Trade Data System (ITDS) Committee of the Trade Support Network (TSN) is seeking participants from the trade in the new US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) ACE/ITDS Working Group.  The purpose of the group is to develop technical requirements for participation by FWS in the ACE/ITDS.  Specifically, the goal is to ensure that the trade is capable of electronically submitting FWS data using the Partner Government Agency (PGA) message set in ACE.

As most in the trade are aware, US Customs’ new ACE system will become the Single Window – the primary system through which the trade community will report imports and exports to US Customs and other agencies having jurisdiction.  Currently, CBP and 47 PGAs are working to enable shippers to file cargo entries in ACE.

Details of participating in the FWS working group are available here.  Interested parties must submit a request to apply by July 30.


CBP to test tweaks of Remote Location Filing (RLF) program

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

In yesterday’s Federal Register, US Customs announced an upcoming National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test of the Remote Location Filing (RLF) program.  Under the RLF program, self-filing importers, and customs brokers with a national permit and RLF approval, may file entries electronically from a remote location other than the port where the cargo is being entered.

The NCAP test, which is in furtherance of CBP’s Trade Transformation modernization initiatives, especially ACE, is slated to go live on August 12, 2015 through an unspecified end date.  Key highlights of the test are:

It is important to note that only ACE entries that are certified for ACE cargo release from summary may be submitted under the test.

US Customs invites the public to submit comments on any aspect of the test through the duration of the test.

© Port of Seattle image by Don Wilson

© Port of Seattle image by Don Wilson



CBP updates ACE Cargo Release Business Process Document

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015



Per CMSM #15-000389, US Customs has updated the draft ACE Cargo Release Business Process Document.  If you’re in need of guidance on what entry filing will be like in ACE, this is a must-read.  According to CBP:

This is a living document, issued in draft form, intended to provide an overview of processes, procedures and policy associated with the filing and release of entries using ACE—inclusive of PGA import requirements.  This information is designed to assist trade users in the transition from ACS to ACE, scheduled to occur no later than November 1, 2015.  The document captures current processing, transition and “to-be” processing identifying the end-state vision for ACE.

For additional, comprehensive information on ACE, please visit our dedicated ACE overview page.


Update on Port of LA’s paper workaround for paperless ACE air manifest cargo releases

Friday, June 19th, 2015

seal_aceIn our recent blog post, we discussed glitches in ACE that prevented carriers from seeing release messages for air cargo, even though the filers receive paperless releases in ACE.  To address the issue, the Port of Los Angeles announced a paper-based workaround.

Today, the Port of LA has updated its guidance by extending the paper workaround until June 24, 2015 and providing a paper Permit to Transfer form for carriers and filers to obtain manual signatures for in-bond cargo movements.

LAX Port Director Todd Hoffman’s revised memo:  ACE air manifest releases update.

**** UPDATE:  On June 24, LAX further extended the interim processing procedures until July 31, 2015.  June 24 Notice to Trade



Port of LA: Paper workaround for paperless ACE air manifest cargo releases

Monday, June 15th, 2015

seal_aceOn June 7th, US Customs began processing air manifest transaction in ACE in real time.  With a technical rollout of this magnitude, there are bound to be glitches.  In this case, the sending of ’1C’ messages is compromised — while filers of cargo releases receive paperless releases in ACE, carriers are not able to see the release messages.

While CBP is resolving the issue, Todd Hoffman, Port Director of Los Angeles International Airport, has announced a workaround for that port:

From now until June 19, 2015, CBP will allow carriers/CFS operators to accept a signed CF 3461 (DAD) by the broker without fear of penalty for entries that have generated a paperless release when transmitted thru ABI.  In addition, carriers/CFS operators are allowed to accept screen printouts of electronic ACE cargo entry (Simplified) releases submitted by the broker for the release of cargo.  The printout should have at a minimum the shipment ID and quantity being released as well as clear identification of who presented the release information.

For In-bond movements, carriers/CFS operators are allowed to accept the perforated/signed CF 7512 even if the ’1C’ or ’1D’ are not posted.

Mr. Hoffman’s memorandum of June 12, 2015:  ACE Air Manifest Releases



CBP ACE outreach resources

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

seal_aceAs you no doubt have heard, US Customs is on track to fully deploy ACE as CBP’s official system of record for trade by October 1, 2016.

To date, US Customs has done a terrific job of outreach to the trade on ACE.  Here are 3 key links:
In addition, please visit our blog for the latest on ACE.