Simplified Entry pilot to expand

Based on initial success, US Customs announced today that it is expanding the Simplified Entry pilot for air cargo to include additional participant and ports.

As for pilot participants, that number of brokers/forwarders has increased from 9 to 20.

As for ports, in addition to the original three pilot ports of Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta, the group now includes:  Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Miami, JFK, Newark and Boston.  In a few weeks,  CBP will further expand the pilot to three additional ports, Detroit, Memphis, and Anchorage.

To date, nearly 600 importers of records have filed over 28,000 Simplified Entries in the pilot.

RLF not always paperless

Pursuant to US Customs’ Remote Location Filing (RLF) rules, customs brokers with a national permit may file entries electronically in any RLF-operational port, even from a location other than where the goods are being entered.

While the RLF program is intended to be a completely electronic, paperless process, there is a little known rule — the hybrid policy — which provides for CBP review of certain other government agency (OGA) paper forms in conjunction with the the RLF data filed electronically in ACS or ACE.

Specifics about the hybrid process, including the situations where it would apply, the port at which paper documents must be filed (port of entry) and other requirements (e.g., original document vs. fax), are available in CSMS #11-000178.

Self-filing importers may file electronically in any port, subject to ABI filing requirements.  In our opinion, this hybrid policy should apply to filings made by direct filers via the Electronic Invoice Program (EIP), as CBP treats the RLF and EIP programs as the same.

Paying now for last year’s MPF increase

US importers may be noticing a surprise in their mailboxes.  Many have been receiving invoices from US Customs for payment of additional merchandise processing fees (MPF) for entries filed between October 1 and November 5, 2011.

Why now?  If you recall, CBP increased the MPF rate last October 1.  Unfortunately, the agency did not complete programming to reflect the new rate for over a month, so entries filed in that window of time reflected the old rate.  Now, CBP is retroactively billing entry filers for the difference in MPF charged.

Details are available here.

ACE by the numbers

How is the ACE program doing?  It seems to be thriving, according to US Customs’ September 2012 “ACEopedia.”

Here’s just a sample of statistics for ACE deployed capabilities:

ACE Entry Summaries (types 01, 03 and 11)

  • Today, nearly 11% of entry summaries are filed in ACE, way up from the 1% filed at the beginning of FY 2012
  • 2.6 million ACE entries filed to date

Post Summary Corrections (PSCs)

  • 4,400+ PSCs filed to date
  • These importers may file electronic PSCs in ACE up to 270 days after the date of entry (currently 10 days if filing in ACS rather than ACE)

Periodic Monthly Statements (PMS)

  • Currently 68% of duties and fees are paid via PMS
  • Such importers pay duties the 15th day of the month following release, creating a cash flow benefit

Other updates on ACE deployed capabilities can be found in the “ACEopedia” (page 4).

Webinar: Update on broker regs initiative

On Thursday, October 4, CBP will host a free webinar to recap its recent research undertaken with the trade regarding a proposed overhaul of the customs brokers regulations (19 CFR Part 111).   The research included local roundtables and the various “role of the broker” webinars held this summer.

To view the webinar, find the link here and click it a few minutes before start time (3 PM EST).  No registration required.