New in-bond guidelines from CBP’s LA field office

LAX © 2007 monkeytime
LAX © 2007 monkeytime


Today, the Los Angeles Field Office of US Customs issued updated guidelines for in-bond shipments “to ensure uniform enforcement of in-bond regulations by [CBP] and to improve control over the movement of in-bond merchandise.”  See the bulletin here:  CBP LA In-Bond Guidance

Importers, if you are looking for an alternative to filing paper 7512 forms, consider self-filing your in-bond entries electronically with CustomsNow.   Do away with your manual process and gain efficiencies, saving valuable time.  Contact us today for a demo!

Newly modified ISF enforcement guidance — fact or fiction?


Recently, US Customs issued CSMS 14-000283 which purports to modify guidance to the ports regarding ISF enforcement.  Specifically, the announcement stated, in its entirety,  that:

[o]n May 13, CBP issued updated guidance to the ports regarding enforcement of the Importer Security Filing. The purpose of the guidance is to clarify and enhance current enforcement activity. The issuance of the updated guidance resets the 12-month Headquarters review period. For questions regarding this guidance please contact a local CBP Port of Entry.

We reached out to the CBP office at Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport Complex for more information, and received the following from the Advance Target Unit:

There are no changes since the ISF Enforcement Public Bulletin.  Please see attachment.  If you have any specific questions concerning ISF, you may send an email with those inquiries.

The attachment was a memo dated July 12, 2013, from LA & LB field office, LA&LB ISF Enforcement Procedures, about enhanced ISF enforcement that was to commence last summer.

This reply seems to contradict CSMS 14-000283, but perhaps this is limited to the LA/LB field office.  Is there anyone in the trade can clarify this apparent incongruity?



Take CBP’s ACE satisfaction survey by May 23

surveyUS Customs is seeking input from the trade about the benefits and problems experienced with ACE.  In particular, CBP is inviting those who are employed as or by a broker, importer, or a land border, ocean, or rail carrier with an ACE portal account for their feedback on ACE for the 2013 calendar year.

New to the survey this year is a request that broker and self-filing importer respondents provide cost and time saving information for:

The last day to take the survey is May 23, and all responses will be anonymous.  For more information and to access the survey, visit US Customs’ official survey announcement page.


ACE Cargo Release pilot to include truck shipments

tractor-trailer-convoyUS Customs has announced the expansion of the ongoing ACE Cargo Release pilot program (Simplified Entry test) to include cargo transported by truck.

Applicants who wish to participate are limited to self-filing importers who use an ACE-certified, CBP-approved ABI system to file entries (or intend to do so), or importers using a customs broker who has capabilities to file entry summaries in ACE.  Applicants must have a filer code, and must intend to submit data only for entries filed at ports approved for the pilot.

The expansion of the pilot to the truck mode of transportation will provide for automated corrections and cancellations as well as entry for a full manifest bill quantity.  However, this phase of the test will not include split shipments, partial shipment, in-bond shipments and entries requiring PGA information.  In addition, the test is limited to filing type 01 and 11 entries only.

For more details, see the official Federal Register announcement.

Basics of direct filing customs entries and ISFs, part 2

Are you a US importer who is interested in direct filing your customs entries (and ISFs) but don’t know where to start?  Here’s the second installment of helpful FAQs that provide general guidance on self-filing with an approved ABI software provider such as CustomsNow.  (Part 1 of our FAQs can be found here).

How do I roll out a direct filing program?

Each importer should thoroughly assess their import supply chain in order to develop a simple, logical and smooth roll out program.  Determining factors can include, for example, the number of paperless entries, the origin of the goods, the relationship with the vendor, and the mode of transportation or shipping terms.  You can do this in-house or hire a consultant conduct a complete business review and develop a plan that best suits your needs.

Do I have to direct file all my entries?

No.  You can direct file as few or as many as you’d like.  It’s best to select one import lane segment to begin with and grow from there.

What is remote location filing (RLF)?

RLF is the ability to electronically file entries with CBP from a location within the United States other than the port of arrival or location of examination.  Importers use CBP’s Automated Invoice Interface (AII) to transmit and electronic commercial invoice to CBP only when requested.

I already have a filer code for drawback; can I use it to file entries?

Yes, the same filer code for drawback purposes can also be used for filing import entries.  If so, only a letter to CBP’s Office of Information Technology, requesting participation in the ABI program and the assignment of a CBP ABI Representative is required.  This process usually takes no more than a week.

What kind of Customs bond is required?

A continuous US Customs bond must be on file with CBP in order to direct file your entries.  Single entry bonds are not acceptable.

What if my shipment does not clear “paperless”?

On most entries types (formal, informal), an electronic invoice can be sent via ABI and AII (CBP’s Automated Invoice Interface).  The invoice is automatically formatted in the ABI system when the entry is created, so the user simply transmits it directly to CBP, in any port, for processing and eventual release.  Some special entry types require that physical documents be submitted to the port of entry.

My broker has a relationship with Customs at the local ports and I don’t. I don’t want to lose that connection.

Although your broker has a relationship within the ports, it important that you, as the importer of record, establish one as well, if you haven’t done so already.  Direct contact with the respective agencies can ensure understanding that your company takes the responsibility of compliance very seriously and that you are experienced and in control of your process.  When issues arise, you know who to call directly to get answers or to resolve problems.  Only positive things can happen when direct relationships are built.

For even more answers to common questions, please visit CustomNow’s FAQ page.  And if you would like to schedule a demo of our ABI solution, please contact us.