CBP launches Trusted Trader program test


US Customs has launched a test of its Trusted Trader initiative, “a new program that will streamline the process through which importers can establish to CBP that they strive to secure their supply chains and strengthen their internal controls for compliance with … existing [customs] laws.”

Working in conjunction with the CPSC and FDA, CBP plans to use the Trusted Trader program to unify the current C-TPAT and ISA programs.  (Non-participating companies will still have the option to participate exclusively in C-TPAT and apply to the ISA program).  In addition, the Trusted Trader program will leverage the expertise of Customs’s CEEs “to manage trusted trader accounts from an industry perspective.”

CBP lists numerous benefits of the Trusted Trader program, including:

  • All the incentives provided by the C-TPAT and ISA programs
  • Reduced FDA targeting/examination risk score
  • Potential for penalty offsets in penalty mitigation decisions
  • Additional benefits if participating in Reconciliation Prototype program
  • Exemptions from on-site visits from Drawback Specialists
  • And much more

The Trusted Trader test is expected to last for 18 months, and the application process is now open.

See last week’s Federal Register announcement for more details.

CBP to add more entry summary validations (edits) to ACE

seal_aceUS Customs continues to make great strides on ACE.  The latest update to ACE will include new entry summary edits (validations) for informal restrictions, taxes, other fees and charges restrictions.  See CSMS #14-000327 for more details.

A reminder:

  • May 1, 2015: Mandatory use of ACE for all electronic manifest filing – less than 11 months to go!
  • November 1, 2015: Mandatory use of ACE for all electronic cargo release and related entry summary filings
  • October 1, 2016: Mandatory use of ACE for all remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process

US importers — make sure that your software (if you’re self-filing) or your broker’s is ACE-certified.  Do it now in advance of these deadlines to ensure uninterrupted cargo clearance.

CustomsNow to exhibit at next week’s AAEI conference

aaei_logo2The AAEI 93rd Annual Conference & Expo officially kicks off June 16th in Minneapolis (our own backyard), and we’re excited to be part of it.  Stop by to learn how our direct filing solutions have provided more and more importers with significant savings, increased compliance and greater control of and visibility to their import programs.

Stop doing things the same old way and get A FRESH PERSPECTIVE with us.  And on that note, check out our Import Trade Management (ITM) solution, a robust, stand-alone database to store and manage ALL import product information. A valuable solution, whether you direct file your entries with CustomsNow, or use a 3rd party broker.  Some highlights:

  • Store up to 134 data elements per product – any and ALL agency required data
  • Capture HTS, MID, Origin, SPI, detailed description and more
  • Use as a classification work queue for new items
  • Share data easily with 3rd party brokers or use internally to self-file

See you soon at Booth 20!

Troubles arise in Panama Canal expansion



As US ports continue to invest millions in major renovations to accommodate new so-called “Post-Panamax ships,” the project that has spawned the advent of these four-football-fields-long vessels — the Panama Canal expansion — has hit troubled waters.  Major cost overruns, work stoppages, financial disputes and international arbitration have cast a “cloud of uncertainty” over the project.

Listen to a recent story on National Public Radio that provides an overview of the situation which, regardless of the outcome, will have major impacts on global trade.