At a recent meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of CBP (COAC), members expressed concern about a potential shortfall of funding for ACE. According to the Journal of Commerce, US Customs “has $140 million to operate and maintain a commercial trade processing system, but there’s no money in the 2012 budget to further develop the program,” quoting Cynthia Allen, executive director of the Customs’ ACE program.
This troubles COAC member George Weise, who is concerned about the viability of ACE modernization projects currently in the hopper, such as simplified entry. “You can’t really have a simplified entry process that’s going to lower transaction costs without ACE,” said Mr. Weise, who as former commissioner as CBP’s legacy agency (the US Customs Service) and as a COAC member, has been working on ACE rollout for two decades. He believes that the funding issue has reached “crisis” proportions, and exhorted fellow COAC members: “We need to have our voices heard on [Capitol] Hill. We’ve got to get the funds. We’ve got to get this moving forward. It’s 20 years overdue.”
See CBP’s full recap of the COAC meeting here.