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ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)

New ACE functionality deployed

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

seal_aceace deadlines








As published in US Customs’ October 2014 ACE Monthly Trade update, CBP deployed new ACE functionality on October 18:

Cargo/Manifest/Entry Release Query

  • This query allows filers to request cargo, manifest and entry record status information that is on file in ACE

Export Manifest (Air Mode of Transportation)

  • This enhancement will provide for the filing and processing of Air Export Manifest transaction data in ACE. While technical capabilities have been deployed to production in ACE, this pilot has not yet been implemented. A Federal Register Notice on the initial pilot will be published in the near future.

Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set

  • CBP deployed capabilities to production to allow agencies to initiate additional PGA Message Set pilots with trade filers. Many of the PGAs have established working groups with trade representatives to identify requirements for these pilots.

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 (or your broker’s) ABI software is ACE-certified to avoid any problems next year!

Register for AAEI’s ACE webinar series

Friday, October 10th, 2014




Starting October 22, AAEI will host a series of four webinars to bring the trade up to speed on different aspects of ACE.  Register at the links below.  AAEI notes that non-member registration will be limited, so act quickly.

ACE Webinar Part One: ” ACE, a Transaction Review”

On October 22 at 1:00 p.m EST, Melissa Irmen of Integration Point will be moderating “ACE, A Transaction Review,” where she will be leading a panel that will include the review of an ACE transaction from both a service provider and an Importer/Exporter perspective.  This webinar will walk through an ACE transaction, including information on pitfalls and best practices.

ACE Webinar Part Two: “Ace 101″

On October 24 at 2:00 p.m EST, Cindy Allen of DHL and Amy Magnus of A.N Deringer will present “ACE 101″, a primer on ACE.  As we get closer to the drop dead date of full ACE implementation in November 2015, we want to make sure that everyone has a solid foundation of where ACE is, where ACE is going, and how ACE affects your business.

ACE Webinar Part Three: “ACE, A Guided Discussion”

On October 29 at 1:00 p.m. EST, Beth Peterson of BPE Global will be moderating “ACE, A Guided Discussion”, a panel featuring a guided discussion with CBP, FDA, a local Port representative, and an Importer/Exporter.

ACE Webinar Part Four: “ACE and the PGA’s”

On November 5 at 1:00 p.m. EST, Jim Phillips of GM will moderate our final ACE panel, “ACE and the PGA’s” featuring a discussion of ACE from a PGA perspective.

Be sure to register today!
*Non-Member registration is limited.
*All registrations are pending AAEI approval

Basics of ACE on one page

Monday, October 6th, 2014

If you’ve somehow missed out on US Customs’ ACE updates in the last few years, here’s a handy graphic from CBP that provides a high-level overview to bring you up to speed.  Note the upcoming ACE deadlines, the first of which is less than 7 months away.  Make sure your current ABI software (or your broker’s) is ACE-compliant.

ACE Basics Graphic


ACE eBonds coming in January!

Monday, September 8th, 2014

seal_aceIn the August 2014 ACE Monthly Trade Update, US Customs announced that it will deploy electronic bond functionality in ACE on January 3, 2015.   This will enable the trade to submit, via EDI, bond transactions in ACE, which will “will streamline the process for filing continuous and single transaction bonds with CBP Revenue Division’s Bond Team.”

Benefits will include:

  • Creation of a single mechanism for the centralization of bonds, including a single place to locate any bond starting after ACE eBond deployment.
  • Reduction in paper processing
  • Faster release of cargo
  • Increased traceability of bonds for audit purposes
  • Expansion of bond issuance beyond regular business hours

At this time, ACE eBond will be required for ACE cargo release and entry summary transactions only, not for those filed in ACS.  However, as of November 1, 2015, when use of ACE will be mandatory for all electronic cargo release and related entry summary filings, ACE eBond must be used for all such transactions.


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.