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ACE (Automated Commercial Environment)

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

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).