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ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)

The latest on ACE

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

seal_aceHighlights from US Customs’ July 2014 ACE Monthly Trade Update:

The July 2014 ACE  update is available here.

 

CBP to add more entry summary validations (edits) to ACE

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

seal_aceUS Customs continues to make great strides on ACE.  The latest update to ACE will include new entry summary edits (validations) for informal restrictions, taxes, other fees and charges restrictions.  See CSMS #14-000327 for more details.

A reminder:

  • May 1, 2015: Mandatory use of ACE for all electronic manifest filing – less than 11 months to go!
  • November 1, 2015: Mandatory use of ACE for all electronic cargo release and related entry summary filings
  • October 1, 2016: Mandatory use of ACE for all remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process

US importers — make sure that your software (if you’re self-filing) or your broker’s is ACE-certified.  Do it now in advance of these deadlines to ensure uninterrupted cargo clearance.

Take CBP’s ACE satisfaction survey by May 23

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

surveyUS Customs is seeking input from the trade about the benefits and problems experienced with ACE.  In particular, CBP is inviting those who are employed as or by a broker, importer, or a land border, ocean, or rail carrier with an ACE portal account for their feedback on ACE for the 2013 calendar year.

New to the survey this year is a request that broker and self-filing importer respondents provide cost and time saving information for:

The last day to take the survey is May 23, and all responses will be anonymous.  For more information and to access the survey, visit US Customs’ official survey announcement page.


				

ACE Cargo Release pilot to include truck shipments

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

tractor-trailer-convoyUS Customs has announced the expansion of the ongoing ACE Cargo Release pilot program (Simplified Entry test) to include cargo transported by truck.

Applicants who wish to participate are limited to self-filing importers who use an ACE-certified, CBP-approved ABI system to file entries (or intend to do so), or importers using a customs broker who has capabilities to file entry summaries in ACE.  Applicants must have a filer code, and must intend to submit data only for entries filed at ports approved for the pilot.

The expansion of the pilot to the truck mode of transportation will provide for automated corrections and cancellations as well as entry for a full manifest bill quantity.  However, this phase of the test will not include split shipments, partial shipment, in-bond shipments and entries requiring PGA information.  In addition, the test is limited to filing type 01 and 11 entries only.

For more details, see the official Federal Register announcement.

New ACE functionality deployed

Friday, April 11th, 2014

seal_aceHere’s a quick summary for new ACE capabilities that US Customs deployed recently:

  • Expansion of the ACE Cargo Release (Simplified Entry) pilot to include:
    • In-bond movements and partial quantities for ocean and rail shipments
    • Basic processing for truck shipments
    • Ability for filers to certify for ACE Cargo Release from their ACE Entry Summary record for air, ocean and rail shipments (Certified from Summary)
  • New ACE entry summary validations for Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) and Complex Duty Calculations (i.e., those entry summary lines with two HTS classifications
  • Migration of the AES to the ACE platform for CBP and PGA users, and support for new Census Bureau and Bureau of Industry and Security regulations

CBP and the trade are also testing Cargo Release transactions for ocean shipments and PGA Message Set transaction for the USEPA, which when vetted, will be deployed in a future ACE release.

Reminder:  Mandated use of certain ACE functionality will commence in May 2015 and mandated use of ACE for all trade processing will be required by October 2016.  Make sure now that your ABI software is ACE-certified to avoid any problems next year!

A common misunderstanding about ACE

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

seal_aceMany in the trade have been operating under a misconception about US Customs’ Automated Commercial Environment – that they may file their customs entries directly in ACE.  In response, in its ACE Monthly Trade Update for March 2014, CBP issued the following clarification:

The Automated Broker Interface (ABI) is the only approved method available for filing entry and entry summaries in ACE. ACE ABI CATAIR-developed software is available through either a CBP-approved ABI software vendor, a self-developer or a service center.

The ACE Secure Data Portal does not have entry and entry summary filing capabilities, nor are there plans for building such capabilities. However, the ACE Secure Data Portal does offer key features such as (1) creating blanket declarations used in entry summary transactions, (2) receiving and responding to CBP forms and uploading solicited documents and (3) running ACE reports, and more.

If you are an importer considering self-filing your customs entries, make sure that the ABI software provider you select offers an ACE-certified system, so you will be ready when ACE begins to supersede ACS as US Customs’ system of record starting next year.

Importers use ACH debit to streamline duty payments

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Savvy importers who take advantage of paying their customs duties via Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit realize many benefits.  As outlined by CBP, these importers:

  • Obtain up to an additional 10 days to pay duties, taxes, and fees on quota and other special merchandise classes
  • Reduce administrative processing and costs
  • Pay all ABI statements in a central location
  • Reduce administrative errors related to check processing
  • Eliminate lost or stolen check problems
  • Control cash flow by identifying the exact day to allocate funds

Additionally, users of ACH may use avail themselves of the Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) feature in ACE which provides its own benefits, such as improved cash flow –  payments of duties and fees are deferred until the 15th day of the following month, offering up to a 45 day interest-free float on this cash

customsPrior to using ACH, the import compliance department must work with the company’s finance or accounting group to set up internal payment processes and then coordinate with CBP to connect with ACH.  After that, the ACH debit process is straight-forward — just 5 simple steps to paying import duties.

The ACH debit process is quite secure; CBP has taken numerous steps to safeguard the payer’s account information and ensure that the correct amount is debited, which will satisfy even the most conservative finance departments.

ACH debit may be used by both importers who self-file their customs entries and those who use a customs broker.  (CBP also offers an ACH credit process for importers who prefer that method of payment).

 

Obama’s Executive Order to speed cargo clearance

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

President_Barack_ObamaPresident Obama has signed an Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses.  The move, expected to especially benefit small and medium-sized businesses, calls for the completion of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.

According to the Executive Order’s Fact Sheet, the ITDS, on which work has been underway for several years, will enable “businesses to transmit, through an electronic ‘single-window,’ the data required by the the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.”  Currently, the trade must submit data — most often in paper format — to at least 47 participating government agencies (PGAs) having possibly having jurisdiction over cargo.  Soon, all “paperwork” will be submitted electronically, “reducing time for clearing goods from many days to, in some cases, seconds.”

The ITDS initiative is a vital part of CBP’s ongoing Trade Transformation initiative, the agency’s approach to modernizing trade.

 

CBP expands ACE Cargo Release test to ocean and rail

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

seal_aceAs published in yesterday’s Federal Register, US Customs has increased the scope of the current ACE Cargo Release test — formerly known as Simplified Entry test — to include ocean and rail modes of transport. (Previously, the test was limited to air transport only).

In addition, CBP is inviting more participants to join the test.  Eligible participants include self-filing importers and brokers who use an ACE-Certified ABI system (such as CustomsNow’s) to file entries.  Other eligibility criteria apply, and the test is limited to certain ports only.

See the official notice at CSMS 14-000071, and our previous blog posts on the ACE Cargo Release pilot.

 

Faster, better access to AD/CVD instructions

Friday, January 31st, 2014

seal_aceUS Customs has announced the launch of an updated website, http://adcvd.cbp.dhs.gov/adcvdweb/, that improves the experience of users searching for antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) instructions.

The website is fed automatically with data from ACE, the system of record for AD/CVD messages and case information, and provides information on:

  • AD/CVD cash deposits
  • Liquidation
  • Scope rulings
  • Other public AD/CVD instructions

ACE users can also access this information directly from the ACE portal.  Moreover, ACE account holders can view “extensive AD/CVD official case information,” such as:

  • AD/CVD case numbers
  • Exporter and manufacturer names
  • AD/CVD cash deposit rates