As recapped in US Customs’ July 2012 ACE Trade Account Owner Update, the Simplified Entry pilot for air cargo is doing very well:
As of July 25, 2012 over 3,000 Simplified Entries have been successfully filed by pilot participants at the three pilot ports of Atlanta, Chicago and Indianapolis. Simplified Entries have been filed for over 230 different importers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Pilot Participants will conduct an evaluation after 60 to 90 days to assess the pilot. Plans for expansion are moving forward. CBP is finalizing plans to expand to additional airports using a regional approach. CBP will be issuing a second Federal Register Notice to announce the expansion of the pilot to additional participants [ed. note: see below]. Lastly, CBP is looking for opportunities to add new functionality to the pilot including incorporation of the Participating Government Agency (PGA) Message Set and the use of the Document Image System (DIS).
In addition, since the Simplified Entry pilot is a paperless (electronic) program, CBP has had to consider how warehouses, freight stations and terminals will fit into the project, since many of these are non-automated (not paperless) facilities. As a solution, the agency has created a workaround process that will allow these facilities, “on an interim basis, to release cargo based on screen printouts presented to them by filers (importers, brokers, etc.),” according to the July 2012 Update.
Finally, due to the success of the pilot, CBP is opening up the test to additional participants. As announced in today’s Federal Register, it is also relaxing the requirement that participants who use a broker to file simplified entries must be C-TPAT-certified (although any direct filers who participate must be in the C-TPAT program).