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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

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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

ACE: CBP webinar for air manifest filers on April 29

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

seal_aceStarting May 3, ACE will become the system of record for all air import manifests transmitted to US Customs, and the legacy AMS system will no longer be available for processing of air manifests.

On April 29, join other air manifest filers on US Customs’ webinar to discuss the ins and outs of the transition to ACE.   The webinar will also provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions regarding air manifest changes deployed in ACE on January 3, 2015.

The free webinar runs from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET.  To participate, log on at at the designated start time.  Although registration is not required, participation will be limited to the first 1,000 participants.


ACE: Updates on Cargo Release and Entry Summary

Monday, April 20th, 2015



The deadline of November 1, 2015, for the filing of all entries in ACE is rapidly approaching.  Here is a quick recap of where things stand at this time.

ACE Cargo Release

CBP and ABI software providers are diligently working on ACE Cargo Release functionality.  Today, you can file ACE Cargo Release for entry types 01, 03, and 11, in almost all ports for all modes of transportation (see our previous blog post as well as CSMS# 15-000198).  Some of the most compelling features are:

  • Corrections & Cancellations
  • Partial Quantities
  • In-Bonds
  • Split Shipments
  • Query entries via ABI
  • Certified from Summary
  • Single filing to include Importer Security Filing (ISF) data (ocean)

However, there are limitations on ACE Cargo Release which are listed below.  Almost all of these restrictions should be lifted on June 27, 2015, after Deployment E (Increment 9.)

  • Remote Location Filing for brokers
  • AII/EIP processing for self-filers
  • Entry Types 02, 06, 07, 12, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 52
  • Participating Government Agency declarations for:
    • AMS – Agriculture & Marketing Service
    • EPA – Ozone Depleting Substances
    • EPA – Vehicles
    • FDA – Regular
    • FDA – Prior Notice for Food
    • FWS – Deploying January, 2016
    • NHTSA – DOT
    • USDA – FSIS

The Diversion Process is scheduled for January 2016.  You will no longer have to cancel an entry if the carrier decides to call a different port.  Simply change the port of entry and away you go!

ACE Entry Summary

Like ACE Cargo Release, you can only file entry types 01, 03, and 11 at this time.  In June, the additional entry types will be allowed including 02, 06, 07, 12, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 34, 38, 51, 52.

Reconciliation processing is scheduled for January 2016.  Drawback, Protest and more are scheduled for July 2016.

Many of our clients are already enjoying some of the increased functionality offered with ACE include entry type corrections, split shipment processing, and Post Summary Corrections.  After the June 27 implementation, we anticipate most, if not all, of our clients will be filing their Cargo Release and Entry Summaries in ACE.

NAPlease contact Nic Adams, Vice President, Client Services at CustomsNow™  if you would like to learn more about ACE and its many benefits to the trade.   (nic.adams (AT) customsnow (DOT) com).

ACE: PSC process is a breeze for correcting entry type

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

seal_aceRecently, a client of CustomsNow™ inadvertently filed an ‘01’ type entry for product that was subject to ADD (type ‘03′).  In the past, the importer could correct this only by requesting that CBP cancel the original entry (a manual process which can take several days) and create a new, corrected, entry.

Fortunately, however, the client is direct filing their entry summaries in ACE and we were able to show them how to make the correction using the Post Summary Correction process.  What used to be an arduous process is now a very simple fix.  One of the many benefits of ACE filing….

ACE Cargo Release available at nearly all ports

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

At long last, US Customs has announced that all ocean, rail and airports are accepting ACE Cargo Release (formerly known as Simplified Entry).  All truck ports will soon follow on April 13 (truck ports currently accepting ACE Cargo Release include Blaine, WA; Brownsville, TX; Buffalo, NY; Champlain, NY; Detroit, MI; Del Rio, TX; Eagle Pass, TX; El Paso, TX; Laredo, TX; Nogales, AZ; and Port Huron, MI)

As noted in the accompanying CBP chart, capabilities for handling PGA data and Remote Location Filing (RLF) at all ports are coming soon.

Cargo Release Capabilities by Mode_3




Customs recon: Is ACE currently the best source for data?

Monday, March 16th, 2015


Some in the trade are unclear about how to handle reconciliation entries (type 9) that are filed in ACE via one customs broker, but where the actual reconciliation is handled by another broker.   Specifically, the issue is whether the importer, the original filing broker and the recon broker all have access to information via ACE.

The short answer is that in ACE, the importer has access to entry data filed by all brokers, and is able to share those detailed entry reports with the broker filing the reconciliation.  However, based on recent experience, currently the best and most accurate reporting for reconciliation purposes is STILL use of the ITRAC report.  This includes complete entry data as well as a “recons due” report (and many other views) to ensure that all underlying flagged entries are properly closed out.  ITRAC, used in conjunction with CBP’s Master Extract, paints the best picture for recon.

At this time, ACE reports can be used as a third source to validate questions, but there remain issues and inconsistencies with the data when it comes to recon.  Once ACE supplants ACS as US Customs’ official system of record on October 1, 2016, it is expected that ACE reports will be the definitive source for recon data.

In the meantime, importers may request ITRAC and Master Extract reports from CBP.  We encourage importers to make requests close to the time they begin working their recons, so that any post-entry activity (e.g., refund amount, tariff changes etc.) is captured in the data, making the recon filing process less painful.  The foregoing, of course, also applies to US importers that self-file their own recon entries without the use of a broker.




ACE: Sign up for March 16 webinar on PGA Single Window

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

seal_aceRegister now for next week’s webinar, hosted by the Border Interagency Executive Council, which will discuss the Participating Government Agency (PGA) Single Window.  As many 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 CBP and other agencies having jurisdiction.

Currently, CBP and 47 PGAs are working to enable shippers to file cargo entries in ACE.   The webinar will focus on progress made by three of those agencies – Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The webinar, which is free of charge, will run from 2 – 3 PM ET on Monday, March 16.  Future webinars will follow.

How many shippers are filing in ACE and how are they using it?

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

In US Customs’ latest ACE Monthly Trade Update (January 2015), CBP provides the most recently available statistics in its ACE Adoption Rate Monthly Report for December 2014.  Among the data is a general overview of ACE user statistics, showing primarily an uptick in activity in most categories:

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 10.16.58 AM

In addition, the report demonstrates an increase in both cargo entry and entry summary submission rates (see tables below).  Note the difference in the total entries submitted in ACS vs. ACE for both categories.  For entry summary, nearly half of entry summaries were filed in ACE, compared to less than 4% of cargo entries.

This disparity makes sense in that CBP has been focusing its technical efforts on entry summary first, which is further along in implementation than cargo entry functionality.  Currently, ACE cargo entry is still lacking a tie-in to all 47 Participating Government Agencies (PGAs), so importers with non-CBP agencies having jurisdiction over their import shipments cannot yet file cargo entries in ACE, and are relegated to ACS.  Even so, it is clear that a notable portion of these importers file their entry summaries in ACE to take advantage of ACE’s many benefits, including enhanced, robust reporting, e-bonds, as well as the ability to file electronic Post-Summary Corrections (PSCs) in ACE up to 270 days after the date of entry.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.18.15 PM

In any event, soon this distinction will be moot.  On November 1, 2015, CBP will mandate use of ACE for all electronic cargo release and related entry summary filing.  Since this deadline is just 9 months away, make sure that your ABI system (or your broker’s, if you’re not direct filing yet) is ACE-Certified.  (The first ACE deadline is May 1, 2015, when CBP will mandate the use of ACE for all e-manifest filing.)

For more statistics — and other ACE updates — see the ACE Monthly Trade Update (January 2015).