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ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)

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.

Breaking news: This weekend’s transition from Air AMS to ACE

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

seal_acePer US Customs’ CSMS #15-000323, on June 6, 2015, the Air Automated Manifest System (AMS) will go offline and on June 7, ACE will become the system of record for air manifests.

The facts regarding the outage window are detailed below:

  • Air Manifest: Air AMS will go offline at 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th and Air Manifests will be brought online in ACE by 5:00 AM EST, Sunday, June 7th.
  • ACS Entry/Entry Summary: ACS will go offline at 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th and will be brought back online no later than 5:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th.
  • During the June 6, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM outage window, CBP will not process FTZ Admissions/e214s (All FZ and FT APP ID’s) or FDA Prior Notice WP transactions.
  • Air Inbond Transactions: Filers should not send QX/WX ABI inbond transactions after 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th.  After 3:00 PM June 6th, filers should wait until 5:00 AM EST, Sunday, June 7th to submit air inbond ABI requests via the new QP/WP transaction.
  • Air Manifest Query:  Filers should stop using the ABI IN transaction to query airway bills as of 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th.  Filers should use the ACE ABI CQ Query starting at 5:00 AM EST, Sunday, June 7th.
  • All messages transmitted after Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 PM EST will be held and processed once that component of the system is brought back online.

The CSMS also details the user support procedures for the transition.

CBP launches Broker-Known Importer Program (BKIP)

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

US Customs and Border Protection logoUS Customs recently announced, in CSMS #15-000275, the implementation of the Broker-Known Importer Program (BKIP), an initiative proposed by the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFFA).

The program allows a licensed customs broker to inform CBP, via the filing of an electronic entry,  that the importer listed on the entry is known to the broker, and that the broker has advised the importer of their compliance responsibilities under Customs regulations.  In addition, the broker will have verified the importer’s grasp of its obligations in areas such as entry declarations, ADD/CVD, IPR, valuation and preference programs, through a questionnaire.

CBP will use this information for purposes of cargo risk segmentation.  When a broker identifies an importer who is exercising reasonable care in connection with their imports by checking the BKIP indicator flag on an entry, Customs may adjust that importer’s risk profile in CBP’s targeting system accordingly, even if the importer is not part of the Trusted Trader programs — C-TPAT or ISA. (The BKIP indicator flag for entries has already been deployed as part of ACE.)

BKIP is a voluntary program for both brokers and importers.

BKIP Benefits:

  • New platform for brokers and importers to discuss compliance obligations
  • Potential to increase broker entry accuracy
  • Increased compliance knowledge for importer staff
  • Improved cargo targeting by CBP at time of cargo arrival
  • More information to CBP about importer from a trusted source

Helpful Links




ACE: Air manifest phase-in extended through June 6

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

seal_aceIn follow up to our recent post on this topic, following is an update from US Customs dispatched in CSMS #15-0000249:

UPDATE:  The deadline for ACE Air Manifest continues to be May 1st and CBP will continue routing trade manifest submissions to both ACE Air Manifest and the legacy AMS.  However, CBP is providing flexibility for the trade to test the system through June 6th when Air AMS will be phased out.

Accordingly, ABI Air Inbond filers will continue to use QX/WX to allow the air industry additional time to test the system.  The effective date for changing from QX/WX to QP/WP is June 7, 2015.

All ABI filers will continue to use the IN query to query Air Bills.  The CQ query for air manifests will be available on June 7, 2015.  Both of these changes are posted to and filers are encouraged to test in the Certification environment.

#ACEairmanifest #ACEcargorelease #ACEentrysummary

ACE Queries: Cargo, Manifest, Entry, Release, In-Bonds… Oh my!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

ace screen

Did you know that very soon there will be powerful ACE query for those with access to an ACE-certified ABI system?  This ACE query, called “ACE Cargo/Manifest/Entry/Release Query” or “CQ”, will provide those in the the supply chain with a “need to know” quick and easy shipment status information.

What types of statuses?  Brokers and self-filing importers can easily query their own entries and entry summaries to ensure release, as before.  However, the better news is that others involved in the supply chain can query the status of ANY in-bond shipment, and ocean, rail, truck, or air waybill manifest information.

Plus, with ACE, CustomsNow™ is seeing additional information being returned in these queries such as in-bond status, in-bond origin and destination ports, and more.  This new visibility can be crucial to those with an interest in moving the goods, such as a bonded warehouse, or a bonded trucker who relies heavily accurate information being on file with CBP prior to dispatch.

CBP currently has this functionality in “certification” with a live release date coming soon (see CSMS# 15-000226).

#ACEmanifestquery #ACEquery #ACEsoftware #ACE