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National Commodity Specialist Division Webinar Training Schedule Announced

March 12th, 2018



In a surprise move (at least it was a surprise to us!), as broadcasted today through CSMS #18-000212,  CBP announced that their National Import Specialists will be presenting several webinars to educate the Trade on how to classify certain commodities.

The webinars, over 40 in all, will begin in April 2018 and End in July, 2018.  The complete list of scheduled seminars & dates are found here.  

Interested in attending?  Here’s how…

Click on the following link and sign in with your company and/or name.

CustomsNow strongly encourages importers to review the list of webinars and to attend any that are relevant to your business. It is not known, at this time, whether or not the Trade will have the opportunity to ask questions during the training.

CBP hosts daily ACE support calls for Feb. 24th release – all welcome

February 27th, 2018


Following ACE Deployment G, Release 4 this past weekend, CBP will host a daily support call starting today and ending March 2. The calls will take place between 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET. To dial in for these calls, please use the following conference line:

Number: (877) 336-1828 / Access Code: 6124214

Additionally, CBP will host a separate daily support call focused on Drawback issues also starting today and running through March 2. These calls will take place from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET. To dial in for these calls, please use the following conference line:

Number: (877) 336-1829 / Access Code: 4840827

Overview on the current status of the Feb. 24th ACE release

February 27th, 2018

CBP-logo-1Following is an overview on the current stats of CBP’s latest ACE release, as summarized by our friends at NCBFAA …

CBP Update on February 24 ACE Deployment

Following the most recent ACE Deployment this past weekend, CBP is hosting daily support calls this week for the trade to report any problems or issues that are occurring due to the update. During the February 26 call, CBP noted that of the 41 claims submitted, only 6 have been accepted error free so far. For the other claims, filers are still working with CBP support staff to work through errors leading to rejections.

In a CSMS sent earlier today, CBP compiled a list of the most common issues users are currently experiencing. The list is as follows:

  • Errors when reporting values, including zeros, in the Entry Summary (AE) 90 Record field “Grand Total Other Revenue Amount”
  • Drawback – EGVUs are being rejecting incorrectly
  • Drawback – Rejecting when Claimant ID account status is frozen
  • Drawback – Privilege status rejections

Regarding “privilege status rejections,” if an issue over privilege status leads to an inappropriate rejection, you should contact the Drawback Specialist to manually correct the privilege status in ACE and add the privilege(s) back to the claim(s). Once added, the privilege status will be fixed for subsequent claims for that claimant.

CBP has notified the trade that they will provide additional information regarding these issues as they become available. The NCBFAA will continue to closely monitor the situation and update our members as these, and potentially other, issues get resolved.

Reconciliation… Welcome to ACE!

February 26th, 2018

ace-logoOn Saturday, February 24th, as promised, CBP delivered ACE Deployment G, Release 4.  One of the critical pieces of this deployment was moving reconciliation entries into ACE, along with drawback, liquidation and other functionality.

If you file recon, here are the things you need to know…

  • FLAGGING:  CBP blanket flagging for recon is GONE.  Importers must work with their brokers, or self-filing software to ensure that entries which require reconciliation get the necessary flags at the time of initial entry.  Brokers/software systems should be able to set profiles to either blanket flag by IOR, at the Part/SKU, other even based on other criteria such as MID code.
  • PARTICIPATION APPROVAL:  CBP no longer requires IORs to gain pre-appoval  to participate in reconciliation.  All profiles are set in ACE to accept a flagged entry, and will not receive a reject.
  •  PROCESSING PORTS:  IORs are no longer assigned to a recon filing processing port.  Rather, if the are assigned to a CEE, then they should file there, if not, then continue to file at their assigned port.  New recon filers will be provided with instructions.
  • PAPPERLESS:  No more paper or disc submissions required.  The date the of the entry summary once an “accepted error free” message has been received on the ABI transmission, is the date of submission.
  • ACE REPORTS:  The much anticipated new Reconciliation universe and a new Liquidation universe reports are scheduled for deployment on March 17, 2018. Additional information will be provided on these report capabilities at a later date.

Long awaited improvements…. Happy Recon Filing!

Read more about CBP’s G4 ACE Deployment here.  Read more about Recon here.

Join WITOC for it’s annual State of International Trade & Customs Outlook

January 19th, 2018


Join us; we have a great lineup!  February 1st, 2018 @ 9am


Please join Women in International Trade, Orange County (WITOC) for it’s annual State of International Trade & Customs Outlook for importers, exporters and other trade stakeholders.  REGISTER HERE.

Hear from high-level government officials, representing USCBP, USCPSC, DHS/HSI, USDA, and FDA, giving us a recap of 2017 top headlines on trade facilitation and enforcement, and a look ahead on regulatory trends and initiatives that will shape the landscape of global commerce in 2018. Other industry experts will share their insights into hot topics setting the stage for another year of trade transformation in a world of bridging relations with government agencies and trade stakeholders. With a wide range of speakers from relevant backgrounds, you will not want to miss this opportunity to interact and connect with government and industry members.

 Discussion Topics to Include: 

  • Year-end Review and 2018 Forecast from Respective Government Agencies
  • Leadership Changes and New Appointments at Local and National Ports of Entry
  • Import/Export Trade Challenges, Priority Enforcement Issues and Trends to Watch for 2018
  • Update on USCBP Centers of Excellence, Forced Labor Reviews
  • TFTEA Mandates for USCBP and Other Respective Government Agencies
  • How COAC is Shaping the Future for Trade Stakeholders

Program Moderator:  Anne Hilsabeck, President and Founder, AMH Customs Consultants, Newport Beach

Government Speakers: 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP)

  • Elva Muneton, Assistant Director, Trade, Los Angeles Field Office
  • Bernice Conley, Assistant Port Director – Trade, Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport

U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (USCPSC), Hank Tapy, Director Western Region, Import Surveillance

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Dawn Barriteau, Deputy Special Agent in Charge – Los Angeles

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Daniel Solis, Acting Program Division Director – Division of West Coast Imports Office of Enforcement and Import Operations

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Nicholas Porzio, Supervisor, Smuggling Interdiction,Trade Compliance Office, Los Angeles & Central California

Private Sector Speakers: 

  • Vincent Iacopella, Executive Vice President, Alba Wheels Up Int’l Inc., Inglewood
  • Representing the Commercial Customs Operations
  • Advisory Committee (COAC)

Venue:  Avenue of the Arts Hotel, 3350 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa, CA 92626




Jan. 6th ACE Statement Deployment – Important Information

January 5th, 2018

ace-logoImportant information from our friends at NCBFAA…

Reminder: January 6, 2018 Statements Deployment

As a reminder, CBP will be delivering ACE Deployment G, Release 3B on January 6. At this point, ACE will become the system of record for all statements with the exception of Reconciliation statements. CBP will deliver Statements for Reconciliations as part of ACE Deployment G, Release 4 on February 24, 2018.

CBP will work with filers to address any issues related to this deployment of Statements in ACE, and will provide support as necessary.

To this point, CBP will also host a series of calls to communicate the status of the statements deployment beginning Sunday, January 7 and running through Friday, January 12:

  • On SUNDAY, January 7, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. ET: On this call, CBP will communicate the status of the statements deployment.
  • From MONDAY, January 8, 2018, through FRIDAY, January 12, 2018, 2:00 p.m. ET – 3:00 p.m. ET: On these calls, CBP will provide a short deployment status followed by an open question and answer session.

To dial in for these phone calls, please use the following conference line:  (877) 336-1828  PC: 6124214

For additional information on Deployment G Release 3A and 3B, please click here.

For ACE Deployment G Reports Information Notice, please click here.

American Shipper In-Bond Article Features CustomsNow

December 14th, 2017

The December issue of the American Shipper Magazine is out, and we are excited to note that it includes an article mentioning CustomsNowand our import software solutions.

The article, “Shifting Into Gear”, written by American Shipper’s Chris Grillis, talks about CBP’s new requirement that in-bond entries be filed electronically as of November 2017.  This was announced by CBP, in a Federal Register notice dated September 28th, 2017 (read more here), giving the trade little time to adjust to the new requirements.  Many companies managing in-bond entries have still been processing their in-bonds with CBP manually (with paper).

Nic Adams, CustomsNow’s VP of Client Services, is quoted in the article, as well as Cody Armes of Mid-Gulf Shipping, a CustomsNow client.  The entire article is included below, or can be accessed by registering with American shipper here.

American Shipper page 1American Shipper page 2

2018 Annual User Fee Due Jan 26 – Increased Fee Amount!

December 13th, 2017

cbp sealCustoms Brokers:
  Your annual user fee is due by January 26, 2018!

CBP’s annual user fee is required by CBP for any broker, whether you are a partnership, individual, association or corporation. The fee is due is due at each Customs Broker District where a local permit has been received to conduct CBP business.  Failure to pay the user fee will result in suspension and revocation of the permit.

The big news this year is that the fee for 2018 has increased to $141.70, pursuant to fee adjustments required by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).  Read the Nov. 1, 2017 Federal Register Notice here.

Additional information regarding the payment process for these user fees, visit CBP’s website here.  Please note, however, that at the time of this writing, CBP has not yet updated their website with the new fee amounts.




The Big News from CBP’s East Coast Trade Symposium was “No Big News”

December 11th, 2017



CBP held their East Coast Trade Symposium last week in Atlanta, GA, and CustomsNow’s VP of Client Services, Nic Adams, was there.  It was widely anticipated that CBP would make an announcement on how they intend to implement better processes for De Minimis shipments, also known as Section 321 entries, going forward.

Unfortunately, there was no announcement made as CBP acknowledged that the announcement has been delayed pending the outcome of the USTR’s NAFTA relegations.

The news was so anticipated because Section 321 filings are a ‘hot topic’ these days, ever since February 24, 2016, when the de minimis value was raised from $200 to $800. This increase was required by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), as announced by CBP hereon March 11, 2016.  The increase has much controversy surrounding it, due to the impact on e-commerce and security therein, and when most other nations are greatly decreasing their allowed value to ensure proper scrutiny and security.

Due to this change, CBP shall clear free of duties and taxes, any shipment of merchandise having a fair retail value in the country of shipment not exceeding $800. Although there are many conditions for eligibility that exist, such as only one Sec. 321 may be imported by one person on one day, and shipments with PGA are not allowed under 321, for example.

Currently, a Section 321 declaration to CBP is made via the truck or air manifest or by providing documentation to CBP at the port of arrival.  This process does not have the same controls in place as with commercial shipments to ensure that they qualify for Section 321 benefits and any required PGA declarations are made.  This lack of controls is greatly contributing to the increase in the number of parcel and mail shipments containing illicit or illegal products.

The Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) E-Commerce Working Group has made recommendations for improving the process to ensure that proper screening is taking place on the ever-increasing number of small package shipments entering the United States.  Among their recommendations is “The COAC recommends CBP provide section 321 filing capability in ACE for ACE filers and that automated solutions, including the ability to file PGA data, should be available in ABI and AMS”

By implementing this recommendation CBP, and the PGAs, will be able to leverage their existing targeting systems to interdict illicit or illegal products.  In addition, many companies that are involved in legitimate e-commerce trade are looking for more efficient ways to declare these shipments to CBP.

CustomsNow, as an ABI software vendor, is looking forward to the day when our clients can quickly and easily declare these shipments electronically with CBP.


CBP Priority Trade Issues: Textiles

December 9th, 2017


U.S. Customs monitors high-risk areas that threaten U.S. Economy, safety and health concerns through their Priority Trade Issues

One such trade issue is that of “Textiles & Wearing Apparel”.   The textile sector is one of the largest manufacturing employers in the United States, and is a key component of the U.S. economy.   For example, textiles generated 40 percent of the duties collected by CBP in the fiscal year 2014.  CBP’s efforts in the textile area focus on promoting legitimate trade, while also encouraging a strong domestic manufacturing base.

The goal of the Textiles Priority Trade Issue is to ensure that textile imports fully comply with applicable laws, regulations, quotas, Trade Preference Program requirements and Intellectual Property provisions.

Read more here.