ACE: CBP hard at work integrating 47 PGAs


As importers know, US Customs does not operate in a vacuum in regulating the flow of goods into US ports.  Rather, there are 47 other Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) that have some degree of oversight of shipments for entry.  As CBP gears up for full deployment of ACE in 2016, all PGAs must be integrated with ACE, creating a “single window” for trade processing.

The International Trade Data System (ITDS) is a federal inter-agency program that assists PGAs in identifying, documenting, and executing their plan to leverage ACE to improve business operations and further agency missions.

In a recent presentation for the Trade Support Network (TSN), CBP highlighted its work with the ITDS Task Force and provided a current status of ACE integration for PGAs:

  • CBP meeting with FDA every two weeks to work onboarding plan
  • Near term PGAs:
    • Data:  Census, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    • Export licensing:  Bureau of Industry and Security, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
    • Hazardous waste monitoring:  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • PGAs currently onboard:
    • DIS:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, EPA, Defense Contract Management Agency
    • Interoperability:  FSIS, Agriculture Marketing Service, U.S. Coast Guard, Consumer Product Safety Commission
    • PGA Message Set (October):  EPA, FSIS

(TSN briefing presentation > Stakeholder Webinar 080813-ALL)

Port of NY and NJ suffers crushing delays

© Port Authority of NY & NJ
© Port Authority of NY & NJ

Importers shipping to the New York – New Jersey port complex have been subject to extensive delays this summer, an immediate result of technical glitches with the terminal operator’s new operating platform.  However, according to the Journal of Commerce, the software issues “set off a chain reaction that exposed the port’s vulnerabilities in labor, facilities and operating practices.”

As a result, ships were diverted to other ports, truckers encountered hours-long waits, and drayage companies accumulated significant losses.  Meanwhile, retailers are worried about the upcoming peak season for holiday imports.

Plans are in place to reduce delays, including hiring more longshore workers and extending hours for truckers to access terminal gates (nearly 90% of the port’s traffic moves via truck).

The full article is available here.

ACE will be mandatory sooner than expected

seal_aceUS Customs has accelerated the move to ACE, which will replace the current ACS for trade processing.  The agency has just published the following mandatory dates, which are earlier than previously proposed:

  • May 1, 2015:  Mandated use of Manifest — All electronic export and import manifest data must be transmitted via ACE
  • November 1, 2015:  Mandated use of Cargo Release — All data associated with the release of cargo, including PGA interactions, must be transmitted via ACE.
  • October 1, 2016:  Mandated use of ACE for all trade processing

(The previous deadline for Manifest and Cargo Release was December 31, 2015; for all ACE processing, December 31, 2016)

Kerlikowske to be nominated to top CBP post

US Customs and Border Protection logoPresident Obama recently announced his intention to nominate R. Gil Kerlikowske for Commissioner of Customs, Department of Homeland Security.  From the official White House news release:

R. Gil Kerlikowske is Director of National Drug Control in the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, a position he has held since 2009.  From 2000 to 2009, he served as Chief of Police in Seattle, Washington.  From 1998 to 2000, he was Deputy Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the U.S. Department of Justice.  From 1994 to 1999, he was Police Commissioner of Buffalo, New York.  He began his law enforcement career serving in the St. Petersburg, Florida Police Department from 1972 to 1987.  Mr. Kerlikowske served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972, and in the Army Reserve from 1972 to 1976.  He received a B.A. and an M.A. as well as an D.H.L. from the University of South Florida.


Corporate Officer Not Personally Liable for Company’s Gross Negligence in Import Case

SAfter the Mod Act was passed in 1993, staff at US importers were instructed that executives within the importing company could be held personally liable for gross negligence for violation of US Customs law.  Last week, however, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a corporate officer of an “importer of record” is not directly liable for gross negligence penalties under 19 USC 1592(c)(2), even though the company would be.

In the case, US v. Trek Leather Inc., Trek’s president, Harish Shadadpuri, admitted that he did not declare the cost of assists on 72 entries of men’s suits, and failed to pay the correct amount of duties owed.  The court ruled that, despite Shadadpuri’s pattern of failing to include assists in this case and in the past, it could not “pierce the corporate veil” because Shadadpuri acted in his scope as a corporate officer, not personally, and would therefore not be personally liable as the “importer of record.”

See an analysis of the court’s decision by Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, PA.