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Post-Entry

Hot off the press! July 8, 2017 ACE Deployment Postponed

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

ace-logoHold that thought….

CBP has just announced that the July 8th scheduled deployment for Entry Summary functionality to ACE has been postponed.  Though just announced under a month ago, CBP has determined that a few more things need to be worked about before the deployment.

Read more of the history on this topic here.

Per CBP, “The rescheduled deployment date will be published in a Federal Register Notice at least 30 days in advance of the actual deployment/mandatory transition.”

A CSMS message from CBP should follow shortly.

ACE Post Release Deployment – Hot off the press and one month to prepare!

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

ace-logo

On June 8, 2017, CBP issued CSMS# 17-000334 – ACE Post Release Deployment, and published a Federal Register notice announcing the implementation of a series of new Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) capabilities effective July 8, 2017.  These capabilities include Collections and Statements, Reconciliation, Drawback*, Duty Deferral and Liquidation.

A little history…  On December 12, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published notices announcing that this functionality would be deployed in ACE on January 14, 2017. The Trade expressed concern that this did not allow enough time for coding and testing.  On January 17, 2017, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the effective date for the test modifications would be “delayed indefinitely”, with rumors of late 2017.

However, in TODAY’s Federal Register notice, CBP states that they have “assessed stakeholder readiness for the mandatory transition of post-release capabilities in ACE” and that they, and the Trade, are comfortable with moving forward on July 8th, 2017.

Ready or not, here it comes!  The most critical aspect of this deployment is that blanket flagging for reconciliation will no longer be in effect starting July 8, 2017.  More to follow from CNI on this topic.

Questions related to the Federal Register notice may be emailed to CBP at ASKACE@cbp.dhs.gov.

*Drawback capabilities – Please note that the drawback capabilities being deployed on July 8, 2017 are part of the ACE core trade processing capabilities, and include the following: 

• Consolidation to single entry type 47
• For electronic claims, submission of entire drawback package electronically
• System validations
• Integration with post release processes
• Improved system controls

 

Pay duties while protest is pending? Importers may not have a choice

Friday, April 28th, 2017

protest cbp form

Eye-opening piece by Susan Kohn Ross, Esq. of  Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP:

Due Your Duty

With the ever-increasing scrutiny being brought to compliance and the payment of duties on imported goods by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), it is worth commenting that any duties which are due when an entry liquidates may, in fact, end up having to be paid even if the related protest remains pending due to the legal and contractual relationship between the importer and his surety company.  Simply put, if a surety insists on receiving payment of any amounts demanded by CBP upon liquidation, the importer does not have any solid grounds to object.  Why would the surety do so if a protest is pending? Because the surety is looking to mitigate its risk. If the importer does not pay, the surety will have to do so, at least up to the face amount of any bonds it has written, and sureties try their best not to be put in that position.

Pursuant to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1514(a), when CBP liquidates an entry, that decision is final and so any monies owed are due, unless a protest is filed.  While the protest is pending, the importer is not obligated to pay any additional funds to CBP as the liquidation is not final.  However, as mentioned above, the mere possibility of financial exposure resulting in the surety having to pay the monies owed results in the surety typically demanding upfront payment. If the protest is granted, CBP reliquidates the entry accordingly.

The outcome could be as simple as the entry being reliquidated with nothing more due. Alternatively, the protest could be granted but with additional monies due related to the approved change(s). At that point, the liquidation becomes final, unless there are grounds to again protest if there is a belief the reliquidation was done incorrectly (see the reliquidation limitation in 19 U.S.C. 1514(d)).  If the protest is denied, the importer must, of course, pay all that is due, including interest, even if he desires to further challenge CBP in court. Given it generally takes 2+ years to get a decision on a protest once referred to Regulations and Rulings, the amount of interest owed can be staggering.  In fact, it is not unusual with antidumping and countervailing duty cases to have the amount of interest be equal to 50% or more of the principal amount owed and that is just at time of liquidation!

Read entire post.

 

Get the latest scoop on CBP’s Simplified Processes Initiative

Friday, March 31st, 2017

On March 24, the NCBFAA sponsored a webinar on the Simplified Processes Initiative, presented by Randy Mitchell, Director, Commercial Operations and Entry Division, US Customs Office of Trade Policy & Programs.  Here’s a summary:

In 2011, CBP launched the Simplified Processes Initiative, a collaborative effort to develop innovative solutions to critical issues emerging at the intersection of trade facilitation, enforcement, and national security.  An early success was the implementation of the Simplified Entry (Cargo Release) pilot aimed at simplifying the importation process.

CBP reengaged the Simplified Processes Initiative in 2014 to advance border security and management; enhance U.S. competitiveness by enabling lawful trade and travel; and promote organizational innovation.

A Simplified Processes Working Group was established to identify challenges and discuss potential solutions to critical trade needs; gather requirements; and develop a proposed alternative. To date the group has identified five post-release areas of opportunity:

Monthly Summaries and National Statements

  • Filers may submit a monthly summary that includes releases over a calendar months’ time.
  • Each line of a monthly summary is considered a “reconfigured entry” that is subject to liquidation, protest and any other downstream process.
  • A separate National Financial Monthly Statement will include debits (duties, taxes, fees, bills and interest) and credits (refunds) netted as a total balance due for a calendar month.

If an importer elected to participate they would receive only one statement per month covering all ports of entry and there would be no Daily Statements to approve.  Also, the statements could include both Debits and Credits.

Liquidation

  • Allow for deemed liquidation of all consumption entries at one (1) year from the date of entry.
  • Implement processes to accommodate line-level liquidation.
  • Allow for the importer to obtain liquidation status details from their ACE portal account or CBP.gov.

This will allow lines within an entry to liquidate without having to wait for lines subjected to AD/CVD case reviews to be resolved.  Also, it would benefit Drawback filings since they are also filed at the line-level.

Protest

  • Transition the protest process to an electronic format (this has already occurred and all Protests must now be filed in the ACE Portal.)
  • Expand the electronic protest filing to a broader range of trade stakeholders such as attorneys, importers, and sureties.
  • Auto-populate numerous Entry Summaries onto one protest while providing protest statuses on ACE.

Reconciliation

  • File all reconciliation data electronically and only with necessary data elements.
  • Eliminate the requirement of having to file an 09 entry and extend liquidation for flagged entries/lines an extra year from the date of entry.
  • Manage reconciliation by account and permit filing at any Center or POE.

The vision is that Reconciliation entries will be replaced with Post Summary Corrections.  One of the biggest benefits would be that the Trade would only need to provide the reconciled amounts and not the original amounts since ACE already knows the original amounts.  Also, if no PSC is made, it indicates no changes are needed on the reconciled entry and is then subjected to liquidation. Finally, the process would allow a filer to retroactively flag/un-flag an entry/line through a PCS in ACE up to the deemed liquidation date.

Drawback

  • Develop a process for the claimant to submit a “drawback profile” electronically along with automating other Drawback processes in ACE.
  • Track/validate if the bond coverage is sufficient prior to processing an Accelerated Payment requests.
  • Initiate the Desk Review and response processes electronically, to include DIS.

ACE controls will track and validate if the bond coverage is sufficient prior to processing an Accelerated Payment Request.  Drawback profiles will be submitted electronically using the 5106 form.

These process improvements are continuing to be reviewed and approved as necessary and are subject to budget approval.  Therefore, there is no firm date on when they will be rolled out.   Meanwhile, here’s the PowerPoint presentation from the webinar > Simplified Process Initiative_Webinar_March_2017

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 8.54.41 AM

 

CBP offering free Simplified Processes Initiative webinar

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

The Simplified Processes Initiative (SPI) is an effort to develop a transformation strategy to optimize the process of importing goods through collaboration with the trade and CBP.

Click here to view a summary of the information that presenter Randy Mitchell, Director, Commercial Operations and Entry Division, Office of Trade, Trade Policy and Programs will cover during this free webinar on March 24 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 8.54.41 AM

New guidance on post-importation claims for preferential tariff treatment

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

claimOn February 28, 2017, US Customs issued CSMS# 17-000110 – Post-Importation Claims for Preferential Tariff Treatment.  The message announces a change in policy as a result of a recent Court of International Trade decision

Specifically, the court determined that CBP must allow the claimant, Zojirushi America Corp., to claim a post-importation claim for preferential treatment (Generalized System of Preferences in this case) according to 19 U.S.C. § 1514(a) which means they can file either a Post Summary Correction or Protest to recoup duties paid on GSP eligible entries not claimed at the time of entry.

Prior to the CIT decision, CBP’s policy was much more restrictive on post-importation claims.  In August 2014, US Customs  issued guidance specifying that when the implementing legislation for several preference programs specifically provides for post-importation claims, set forth in 19 USC §1520(d), such claims are the only appropriate mechanism to seek preference when not claimed at the time of entry.

This interpretation by CBP precluded the filing of a PSC or Protest for those preference programs that do not specifically allow for post-entry claims under 19 USC §1520(d).  In other words, since the GSP implementing legislation did not require post-importation claims to be satisfied via the 1520(d) CBP was essentially not allowing for post-entry claims for GSP.

However, the CIT decision changed this.  Now,

  • For those preference programs that do not specifically provide for claims under the statutory post­ importation mechanism of 19 USC §1520(d), CBP will permit use of the protest mechanism set forth in 19 USC §1514 to submit initial post-importation preference claims.
  • CBP will continue to allow un-liquidated entries to be amended by filing a PEA or PSC prior to liquidation in accordance with current PEA and PSC procedures.
  • For preference programs that by law have a post-importation provision, a 1520(d) post­ importation claim remains the only appropriate mechanism to seek preference when not claimed at the time of importation.

Also on February 28, 2017, the CBP Port of Los Angeles issued Public Bulletin number LA17-011 Post-importation Claims for Preferential Tariff Treatment which reiterated the language in the CSMS and which included a better table for interpreting when a post-importation claim should be made under the 1520(d) process versus the 1514(a) process:

blogchart

 

 

 

 

Coincidentally, on March 1, 2017, US Customs issued a message clarifying the process for making post-importation claims for NAFTA under the 1520(d) process.

ACE implementation winding down

Friday, February 24th, 2017

seal_ace

After several tumultuous years there is finally a light at the end of the ACE tunnel.  The next significant release falls into the “Post Release” bucket and covers drawback, liquidations, duty deferral, reconciliation, eBond, as well as a few more housekeeping measures.  This release, originally scheduled for January 14, 2017, was postponed in order to provide the trade with more time to code and test the changes.  CBP has not announced a deployment date.

Beyond these updates, the ACE Deployment Schedule lists only “TBD: Mandatory use of ACE for electronic filing of remaining PGA data, pending PGA regulatory updates” as outstanding work to be done.

Many in the trade are enjoying the respite from the barrage of changing functionality and requirements and looking forward to stabilizing their import programs while enjoying the benefits of ACE (ie: Post Summary Corrections, ACE Portal Reporting, etc.)

At CustomsNow™, our programmers, after some well-deserved down time, have returned to upgrading the functionality within our systems and we’re very excited about some of the coming enhancements including web-based functionality, the ability access our applications using phones and tablets, and much, much more.

Everything you need to know about PMS in ACE

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

From US Customs’ January 2017 ACE Monthly Trade Update:

Below are the preliminary (11th workday) and final (15th workday) dates for Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS). The latest date in which the “Preliminary” PMS can be requested to generate is the 11th workday of the month.

However, some companies do request their preliminary PMS to generate before the 11th workday. “Final” is the due date for the preliminary PMS. This date is also when ACE sends the Periodic Daily Statement (PDS) payment authorization message (PN Transaction) for the PMS to the Pay.gov website.

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 9.33.05 AM

US Customs published Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) message #17-000009 to announce the postponement of the January 14, 2017 ACE deployment. A new date will be announced in the near future.

Effective with the rescheduled date for this deployment, the final PMS will be generated to the trade community in two or three business days instead of the current one day issuance in ACE and Automated Commercial System (ACS). In ACE, the final PMS has to date been generated the day after CBP sent the PN authorization message to Pay.gov and not when the payment was transferred to CBP.

Additionally, please keep in mind that ACE Reports may not generate quickly on days when preliminary and final PMSs are generated. CBP suggests that you run and/or schedule your PMS reports during non-peak business hours and/or on days when they are not due.

For more information concerning statement processing, please review the Statements in ACE Information Notice, the Periodic Monthly Statement User Guide posted on the “ACE and Automated Systems” and “ACE Portal Training Resources” pages of CBP.gov/ACE. Questions concerning participation in Periodic Monthly Statement should be directed to the CBP Revenue Division. Users can send an email to periodicstatement@cbp.dhs.gov or contact the ACE Periodic Monthly Statement Payment Help Desk at 317-614-4545.

Breaking news! CBP postpones deployment of Jan 14 ACE post-entry functionality

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

seal_ace

 

From CSMS #17-000009:

 

Notice Regarding ACE – Postponement of the January 14 deployment
  • This notice is with regard to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).
  • The January 14, 2017, deployment of post release capabilities including  liquidation (with the exception of the electronic posting of the Notices of Liquidation on CBP.gov), drawback, reconciliation, duty deferral, collections, statements and the Automated Surety Interface will be postponed.  However, pursuant to the Final Rule published on December 12, 2016, CBP will post the Notices of Liquidation on CBP.gov effective January 14, 2017, as planned.
  • In consideration of stakeholder feedback and the complexity of the ongoing integration testing, CBP is providing additional time to prepare for the final core ACE deployment and ensure a smooth transition of liquidation, drawback, reconciliation, duty deferral, collections, statements and Automated Surety Interface capabilities in ACE. CBP will provide updated information and a new deployment date in the near future.
Office of Trade Relations, Office of the Commissioner
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

ACE: Recon “blanket flagging” to be discontinued on Jan 14

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

 

Calendar Icon with long shadow. Flat style. Date,day and

 

Attention recon filers!  Effective January 14, US Customs will no longer apply ‘Blanket Reconciliation Flagging’ to entry summaries.  CBP has left it up to the importers and their brokers.  As a result, all reconciliation flagging must be done on an entry-by-entry basis.

Failure to do so will require importers to submit 520(d)s, post-summary corrections or prior disclosures to correct issues that are otherwise handled by reconciliation.

By way of background, CBP announced in the December 12, 2016, Federal Register that:

 

  • CBP is streamlining the process for blanket flagging underlying entries for reconciliation.
  • Under the existing process, importers provided CBP a request asking that CBP input and apply a blanket flag to all underlying entries filed by the importer for a specific time period. Importers also identified the specific issue(s) for which they requested that CBP input and apply the requested blanket flag.
  • This document announces that effective January 14, 2017, importers no longer will submit requests asking that CBP apply a blanket flag on their behalf. Instead, importers may input and apply a blanket flag themselves. Importers who use blanket flagging must continue to identify the issue(s) they are flagging.

Importers that currently benefit from blanket flagging on their recon entries should work with their customs brokers to ensure entries are flagged in accordance with the importer’s requirements.  If self-filing*, importers should ensure that their ABI software providers’ systems are programmed accordingly.

Please note that reconciliation flags are applicable ONLY to entry summary types 01, 02 and 06

 * CustomsNow self-filing clients have the ability to manage their recon flags at either the “blanket” level, or even at the Part/SKU level, a fantastic option. Learn more.