CBP’s 2012 West Coast Trade Symposium – CEEs and ACAS

US Customs’ 2012 West Coast Trade Symposium — the first ever held outside of Washington, DC — was a resounding success with hundreds of attendees from the trade as well as the federal government.  They symposium’s theme, “Transforming Trade for a Stronger Economy,” was clearly evident in key topics of discussion — CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEEs) and the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS)/Simplified Entry pilot.


  • The CEE concept was developed by CBP, with significant input from the trade, to expedite the import process for particular industries by consolidating industry/customs expertise into “one-stop shopping” administrative centers.  See our January 12 blog post for a more detailed discussion
  • Pilots for Centers for Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals (NY) and Electronics (Long Beach) have been quite successful
  • New centers to launch by end of FY2012:  Automotive & Aerospace (Detroit) and Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals (Houston)

ACAS/Simplified Entry Pilots

  • ACAS allows CBP and TSA to receive advance security filing cargo data as a means to target air cargo shipments inbound to the US that may be high risk and require additional physical screening
  • ACAS enables express carriers, passenger air carriers, freight forwarders, and all-cargo air carriers to send receive advance security filing data and related action messages for all air cargo through CBP’s Automated Targeting System (ATS)
  • Providing cargo data electronically – and earlier – to CBP allows for faster clearance at ports while reducing risk
  • In pilot since November 2010 with carriers UPS, DHL, FedEx; next phase includes passenger carriers, freight forwarders
  • CBP decided to tie in Simplified Entry pilot because both pilot programs are focused on air transport, and both work to reducing the number of data elements that must be submitted for entry clearance
  • Customs has provided a helpful flow chart (page 9) that clearly displays how ACAS ties into the Simplified Entry process

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