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ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)

NCBFAA President on ACE preparedness for Feb 28 migration

Friday, February 5th, 2016

seal_aceWhile the NCBFAA favors pushing out the date for ACE crossover due to serious concerns about its functionality, the organization understands the political realities surrounding ACE, and advises the trade to be ready February 28 migration.  Following is a letter to NCBFAA’s membership from its president, Geoffrey Powell:

I wanted to update our membership on what the NCBFAA has been working on in regards to the February 28 mandatory ACE migration.

A number of NCBFAA officers, committee chairs and counsel have been meeting multiple times per week with all the federal agencies to discuss ACE and Single Window. Right now ACE will be mandatory on February 28. As we have stated in the past, and continue to stress, everyone needs to be on ACE. We do not believe that the February 28 mandated ACE use will be pushed back. However, we are unsure at this time that all functionality will be required on February 28 and whether ACS will be turned off at that time.

For those companies that are not on ACE, and where ACS has been decommissioned, the only alternative to file entries is with paper documents, which guarantees longer the processing time for anyone filing in a paper environment. In February 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13659 requiring that 47 government agencies be on the Single Window by December 31, 2016. A timeline for the remainder of the year has been constructed to on-board all these agencies to ensure this Executive Order is met before the end of the current administration, therefore there is great political pressure being applied to ensure success.

The first critical milestone to be met is the movement of entries from ACS to ACE, and to file all FDA, NHTSA and APHIS (Lacey) by February 28. It is the NCBFAA’s belief that the White House will not accept pushing back the February 28 date due to the impact it will have on the remaining requirements to achieve Single Window by December 31, 2016. The NCBFAA will continue to meet not only with the Federal Agencies involved in Single Window to ensure a successful migration on February 28th, in what form that will take is still under discussion, but will also continue to keep Congress apprised to ensure the impact on trade is not catastrophic.

Click on this link to review a February 2 letter the NCBFAA submitted to CBP on our recommendations for February 28. As we wait to hear what is decided, I can only stress that ACE migration is here and each company needs to be using ACE now.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Powell

NCBFAA President

Get immediate proof of CBP & PGA release for imports with CustomsNow’s Cargo Query System

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Introducing CustomsNow’s Cargo Query System (CQS)….

With the February 28 deadline to file import entries in ACE looming, rest assured that with CQS, you can get immediate electronic proof of CBP and PGA releases for imports.  Perfect for importers… and if you are a container freight station (CFS), bonded warehouse, terminal facility, or freight forwarder, you NEED this. Per US Customs’ mandate, all non-automated parties MUST get automated to obtain electronic proof of CBP and PGA release.   CQS also provides ability to create, update and arrive in-bonds, initiate PTTs, or just the ability to see their status.

Check it out here!  And contact us now to schedule a demo!

 

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ACE: Overview of new system messages in response to PGA entries

Friday, January 29th, 2016

seal_aceFrom our friends at NCBFAA and  Cindy Allen, Founder and CEO of Trade Force Multiplier, and former Executive Director of the ACE Business Office at Customs and Border Protection:

Understanding the PGA Cargo Release Responses (SO70)

The following chart was created to understand the expected initial messages that are auto-generated by CBP as a response to the transmission of a PGA regulated entry.

  Initial SO70 (generated by CBP)*
EPA- ODS, VNE, PS1, PS2, PS3 DATA UNDER PGA REVIEW
EPA- TS1, TS2 MAY PROCEED
FSIS HOLD INTACT
FDA DATA UNDER PGA REVIEW
AMS HOLD INTACT for ‘MO1′. All others are ‘MAY PROCEED’
ATF MAY PROCEED
NHTSA MAY PROCEED (even if Bucket 2 rule fires)
NMFS MAY PROCEED
TTB MAY PROCEED
APHIS LACEY MAY PROCEED
APHIS- AVS HOLD INTACT (Equines only)
DEA MAY PROCEED (even if Bucket 2 rule first)
DDTC MAY PROCEED

*In the case of a disclaimed entry for ANY agency, there will be no SO70 generated to trade.

*The information that is received in ACE is not transmitted to the PGA until 5 days prior to the shipment’s arrival. Filers should not expect to receive anything other than an “UNDER REVIEW: response in the SO70 record until 5 days prior to arrival. At that point the edit checks and auto review will happen at the agency within their system.

For any agency, if at least one edit check or auto review at the agency creates an issue for the PGA that they want to review before issuing further responses, (known as a bucket-2 rule) then an “UNDER REVIEW” response in the SO70 Message will be sent to Trade, otherwise trade will receive a MAY PROCEED in the SO70 message. There are some exceptions to this process.

NCBFAA: Will ACE really be ready on February 28?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

NCBFAA_2013_VOTI_FinalThe National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America has issued a press release regarding its January 8 open letter to its members, questioning US Customs’ ACE implementation schedule.

Although NCBFAA “has endorsed ACE as a vastly superior to its predecessor (ACS),” the organization has expressed grave concerns that programmers’ ability to thoroughly test all new ACE functionality will be seriously hampered by the lack of sufficient time to do so in light of the looming February 28 transition date.  In particular, NCBFAA notes:

Software refinements continue and system updates are being processed on an almost daily basis.  In fact, some entry functions (such as the process for placing goods in a bonded warehouse), will not be available [for testing] until the last minute, February 28….

Accordingly, NCBFAA has requested a complete stop to all software changes for processes going into effect on February 28 to allow for meaningful and complete testing before launch.

Clearing up confusion on PGA Pilot in ACE

Monday, January 25th, 2016

seal_ace

 

Here’s the current status of filing PGA entries (Cargo Release) in ACE.  Per CSMS #16-000038, this guidance is valid through February 1, 2016, unless updated instructions are available sooner.*

  • Beginning Feb 28, 2016, all entries (Cargo Release) (with limited exceptions) and entry summaries must be filed in ACE.  By then, CBP will be able to accept entries with the PGA data for FDA, NHTSA, and APHIS (Lacey.)
  • Presently, it is no longer necessary to participate in a pilot for FDA (Disclaim), NHTSA and APHIS (Lacey.)  CBP has opened them up to the public and they are already operational.  There is no need to wait until February 28; you can file ACE entries with these PGAs and get a release now.  CBP implores users to file these transactions in ACE immediately.
  • All other entries containing FDA PGA data must be tested through the FDA Pilot before you can be authorized to send this information in Production before February 28.   Also, APHIS (Core) transactions still require a pilot call at this time.
  • For any other agencies, like EPA, from Feb 28 to July 2016, filers must follow the hybrid process which essentially means you send the declaration form via the DIS.
  • See US Customs’ PGA Pilot/ACE resource page for more information.

* If you do not see an updated CSMS on or before February 1, CPB suggest that you contact Steve Zaccaro at steven.j.zaccaro@cbp.dhs.gov for updated instructions.  This is a fast-moving pilot and requirements are likely to change, which necessitates continuous updates.


 

February 28: File in ACE or your cargo release will be delayed!

Monday, January 18th, 2016

As many in the trade are aware, as of February 28, 2016, US Customs’s legacy ACS system will no longer be available for filing of any electronic entries and associated summaries.  Filers may only file in ACE; those who are not prepared to file in ACE must file paper entries and entry summaries.

After February 28, the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex and outlying ports “will give priority to processing all electronic entries and entry summaries.  Filers who submit paper entries will face delays in cargo processing, impacting the release of their shipments.”  Details are here.  LA&LB Ports – Mandatory Use of ACE for ALL Electronic Entry and Entry Summary Filing

Other ports of entry will likely follow suit.  Make sure your (or your broker’s) ABI system is fully ACE-compliant!

Upcoming ACE PGA Pilot Webinars — FDA, APHIS, Lacey

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

seal_ace

 

Per US Customs’ CSMS #16-000019:

ACE Outreach Events

  • FDA ACE/ITDS Pilot - January 19, 2016 – 1:00 – 3:30 PM EST
    • FDA will provide an update on the status of the FDA ACE/ITDS pilot. Specifically, how to prepare and participate in the pilot; and review in detail, FDA’s Supplemental Guide and data required for Food and Prior Notice.   Register here.
  • APHIS – Live Animals  - January 20, 2016 – 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST 
    • APHIS Veterinary Services will host a webinar focused on ACE planning and piloting. The Live Animals Pilot offers you the opportunity to be a leader in adapting your business to the new single window environment. By working with APHIS now, you will have the benefit of establishing a strategic, measured, and collaborative approach with APHIS and CBP. Live animals include livestock, avian, semen, embryos, hatching eggs, certain aquaculture species, and certain other live animals. APHIS Veterinary Service Subject Matter Experts will be present to address technical, piloting, and import questions.  Register here.
  • APHIS Lacey Act Express Couriers (VS) - January 27, 2016 – 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST 
    • APHIS will host a webinar focused on ACE planning and piloting. The Express Courier Pilot offers you the opportunity to be a leader in adapting your business to the new single window environment. By working with APHIS now, you will have the benefit of establishing a strategic, measured, and collaborative approach with APHIS and CBP. APHIS Subject Matter Experts will be present to address technical, piloting, and import questions.  Register here.
  • APHIS Lacey Act Animal Products - February 3. 2015 – 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST 
    • APHIS Veterinary Services will host a webinar focused on ACE planning and piloting. The Animal Product Pilot offers you the opportunity to be a leader in adapting your business to the new single window environment. By working with APHIS now, you will have the benefit of establishing a strategic, measured, and collaborative approach with APHIS and CBP. APHIS Veterinary Service Subject Matter Experts will be present to address technical, piloting, and import questions.  Register here.
 

The very latest ACE information now posted on CBP.gov

Monday, January 11th, 2016

seal_aceIn the recently published December 2015 ACE Monthly Trade Update, CBP has posted new and updated ACE documentation to CBP.gov. The new and updated ACE information includes:

 

ACE: Update on FTZ weekly entries with PGAs

Friday, January 8th, 2016

seal_aceWhen a weekly FTZ entry is subject to a PGA release, US Customs originally intended that requisite declarations be made on the weekly estimate (Cargo Release (SE)).  However, as many in the trade know, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the APHIS-Lacey declarations require actual amounts to be declared versus estimates.

Therefore, with the launch of ACE, CBP and these PGAs have determined that these declarations should be made on the Entry Summary (AE) submissions which are transmitted at the end of the weekly withdrawals, and the actual quantities entering the commerce are known.

ABI vendors have been instructed to make this change to their software and CBP intends to have this functionality in place by January 15, 2016.

The FDA is also considering this policy and should make a determination shortly.

For non-weekly FTZ entries, these declarations will continue to be required on the type ‘06’ Cargo Release transmission.

ACE: Clarification issued on FCC-regulated imports

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

fcc-logo_white-on-blackTraditionally, filer have sent the majority of FCC Declarations CBP’s Automated Commercial System (ACS) electronically via ABI.  However, with the advent of CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), that will no longer be the case.  Specifically, beginning July 1, 2016, filers will no longer be required to declare their FCC-regulated imports to the FCC until further notice.

Filers have been confused on what the process will be between February 28, 2016, when ACE filing becomes compulsory, and July 1st.  CBP and the FCC have clarified that filers are to continue to send the FCC information, in the traditional ACS format, during this period as part of the Entry Summary (AE) filing.

CBP will route this part of the ACE Entry Summary to the legacy ACS system during this time and such ACE entries will no longer be rejected for containing FCC declarations.  For further information, please review the FCC Public Notice found here.