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ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)

Stay current — CBP posts new, updated ACE information

Monday, October 5th, 2015



Per CSMS #15-000733, CBP has issued its August-September 2015 ACE Monthly Trade Update, which updates the ACE Mandatory Use Dates webpage, ACE Development and Deployment Schedule, and Partner Government Agency documentation (PGA) available on The updated ACE information, with links, includes:

For even more information on this topic, see CustomsNow™’s ACE Resource page.

ACE: Help CBP with cargo release functionality for NHTSA, DEA imports

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

NHTSA_hi  dea










US Customs has announced two more opportunities for the trade to assist with the ACE rollout as it relates to Partner Government Agencies (PGAs).

  • CBP seeks additional participants to file ACE Cargo Release transactions that require National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data to be submitted.  Details available in CSMS #15-000691.
  • The International Trade Data System (ITDS) Committee of the Trade Support Network (TSN) is creating a working group to discuss the technical solution and data elements to be required by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in new cargo release and control functionality in ACE.  Details available in CSMS #15-000692.


Critical ACE deadline pushed back

Monday, August 31st, 2015



As anticipated, US Customs has extended by four months the time by which importers must file all electronic entries and entry summaries in ACE.  Note, however, that CBP has emphasized that the originally published deadline for the complete cut-over to ACE from ACS  is holding fast:  ”We would like to reiterate that the [extended] transition period does not impact our December 2016 deadline for full implementation of the Single Window via ACE.”

From CSMS #15-000664:

Nov 1, 2015: Beginning of a transition period for electronic entry and entry summary filings in ACE to allow industry and participating government agencies more time to test and provide feedback as they fully transition into the new system. Use of ACE is allowed and encouraged for electronic entry and corresponding entry summary filings for entry types 01, 03, 11, 51, and 52 with or without PGA data.

Feb 28, 2016: At this time, filers will only be permitted to file in ACE, and no longer permitted to file in ACS, all electronic entries and entry summaries. In addition, electronic FDA, NHTSA, and APHIS (Lacey) data must be filed in ACE, and ACS will no longer be available.

July 2016: Upon publication of the Final Rule, ACE must be used for filing AMS, APHIS Core, ATF, CDC, DCMA, DDTC, DEA E&C, EPA, FSIS, FWS*, NMFS and TTB data. Hybrid submissions will no longer be allowed.* This requirement for FWS is contingent on FWS having its regulatory revisions in place by the July 2016 publication of the CBP Final Rule eliminating hybrid filings.

ACE: TSN seeks members for working group on CPSC cargo release pilot

Monday, August 31st, 2015


The International Trade Data System (ITDS)  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 to form a working group to discuss a technical solution to be used by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in the pilot to test the new cargo release and control functionality of ACE/ITDS.

You must apply by this Friday, September 4.  See CSMS #15-000642 for details.

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.


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