Importers: Take American Shipper’s benchmarking survey

american shipper 2American Shipper is seeking importers to participate in a benchmarking survey that will compile a snapshot of how shippers and intermediaries are currently managing imports.  The confidential survey will analyze the importer’s operations, compliance programs, training, organization structure and technology.

Survey participants will receive a copy of the survey, the results of which will only be displayed in aggregate.  The deadline to participate is May 23.

Access the survey, which takes 10-15 minutes to complete, here.  (A similar survey on export programs can be found here.)

New ACE functionality deployed

seal_aceHere’s a quick summary for new ACE capabilities that US Customs deployed recently:

  • Expansion of the ACE Cargo Release (Simplified Entry) pilot to include:
    • In-bond movements and partial quantities for ocean and rail shipments
    • Basic processing for truck shipments
    • Ability for filers to certify for ACE Cargo Release from their ACE Entry Summary record for air, ocean and rail shipments (Certified from Summary)
  • New ACE entry summary validations for Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) and Complex Duty Calculations (i.e., those entry summary lines with two HTS classifications
  • Migration of the AES to the ACE platform for CBP and PGA users, and support for new Census Bureau and Bureau of Industry and Security regulations

CBP and the trade are also testing Cargo Release transactions for ocean shipments and PGA Message Set transaction for the USEPA, which when vetted, will be deployed in a future ACE release.

Reminder:  Mandated use of certain ACE functionality will commence in May 2015 and mandated use of ACE for all trade processing will be required by October 2016.  Make sure now that your ABI software is ACE-certified to avoid any problems next year!

A common misunderstanding about ACE

seal_aceMany in the trade have been operating under a misconception about US Customs’ Automated Commercial Environment — that they may file their customs entries directly in ACE.  In response, in its ACE Monthly Trade Update for March 2014, CBP issued the following clarification:

The Automated Broker Interface (ABI) is the only approved method available for filing entry and entry summaries in ACE. ACE ABI CATAIR-developed software is available through either a CBP-approved ABI software vendor, a self-developer or a service center.

The ACE Secure Data Portal does not have entry and entry summary filing capabilities, nor are there plans for building such capabilities. However, the ACE Secure Data Portal does offer key features such as (1) creating blanket declarations used in entry summary transactions, (2) receiving and responding to CBP forms and uploading solicited documents and (3) running ACE reports, and more.

If you are an importer considering self-filing your customs entries, make sure that the ABI software provider you select offers an ACE-certified system, so you will be ready when ACE begins to supersede ACS as US Customs’ system of record starting next year.