GSP extended through 2017

foodprocessingYesterday, President Obama signed into law the Trade Preferences and Extension Act, which, among other things, reauthorizes the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) until December 31, 2017, with retroactive treatment for eligible goods that were imported after the program lapsed on July 31, 2013.

According to the White House,

Since authorization of the GSP program lapsed in mid-2013, U.S. businesses that utilize GSP have paid over $1 billion dollars in tariffs on GSP products that previously entered the United States duty-free. This has been an especially heavy burden for the many thousands of small businesses that count on GSP to keep their costs down. Renewal of the program will eliminate these duty costs on GSP goods, ease the flow of trade from many developing countries, including some of the poorest countries in the world, and benefit U.S. businesses and consumers alike.

Products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP include: most manufactured items; many types of chemicals, minerals and building stone; jewelry; many types of carpets; and certain agricultural and fishery products.



ACE: Fix of air manifest issues delays launch of other functionality

seal_acePer CSMS #15-000404:

When US Customs deployed functionality for processing air manifest transactions in ACE on June 6, there were some technical glitches (e.g., inability for carriers to see electronic release messages).  To address these issues, CBP has devoted resources to stabilize the electronic manifest system for the air industry, and accordingly, has delayed deployment of additional ACE functionality that was to have occurred this past weekend. (ACE Deployment E Capabilities)



CEE Directors granted authority for entry summary at ports

cee map


As announced in CSMS #15-000390, US Customs will vest authority for post-release trade processes in the Center Directors for two of the nation’s 10 Centers of Excellence & Expertise (CEEs), effective Monday, June 29.

This grant of power, pursuant to a 2014 CBP Delegation Order, will provide both the directors of the Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals CEE and the Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals CEE with responsibility for the entry summary piece of cargo clearance in certain ports of entry, while Port Directors “retain singular authority over those matters pertaining to the control, movement, examination, and release of cargo,” as well as issues related to drawback and fines, penalties and forfeitures.


CEEs Phase III Operational Expansion doc

List of Affected Ports & Field Offices

CBP updates ACE Cargo Release Business Process Document



Per CMSM #15-000389, US Customs has updated the draft ACE Cargo Release Business Process Document.  If you’re in need of guidance on what entry filing will be like in ACE, this is a must-read.  According to CBP:

This is a living document, issued in draft form, intended to provide an overview of processes, procedures and policy associated with the filing and release of entries using ACE—inclusive of PGA import requirements.  This information is designed to assist trade users in the transition from ACS to ACE, scheduled to occur no later than November 1, 2015.  The document captures current processing, transition and “to-be” processing identifying the end-state vision for ACE.

For additional, comprehensive information on ACE, please visit our dedicated ACE overview page.


Update on Port of LA’s paper workaround for paperless ACE air manifest cargo releases

seal_aceIn our recent blog post, we discussed glitches in ACE that prevented carriers from seeing release messages for air cargo, even though the filers receive paperless releases in ACE.  To address the issue, the Port of Los Angeles announced a paper-based workaround.

Today, the Port of LA has updated its guidance by extending the paper workaround until June 24, 2015 and providing a paper Permit to Transfer form for carriers and filers to obtain manual signatures for in-bond cargo movements.

LAX Port Director Todd Hoffman’s revised memo:  ACE air manifest releases update.

**** UPDATE:  On June 24, LAX further extended the interim processing procedures until July 31, 2015.  June 24 Notice to Trade



Port of LA: Paper workaround for paperless ACE air manifest cargo releases

seal_aceOn June 7th, US Customs began processing air manifest transaction in ACE in real time.  With a technical rollout of this magnitude, there are bound to be glitches.  In this case, the sending of ‘1C’ messages is compromised — while filers of cargo releases receive paperless releases in ACE, carriers are not able to see the release messages.

While CBP is resolving the issue, Todd Hoffman, Port Director of Los Angeles International Airport, has announced a workaround for that port:

From now until June 19, 2015, CBP will allow carriers/CFS operators to accept a signed CF 3461 (DAD) by the broker without fear of penalty for entries that have generated a paperless release when transmitted thru ABI.  In addition, carriers/CFS operators are allowed to accept screen printouts of electronic ACE cargo entry (Simplified) releases submitted by the broker for the release of cargo.  The printout should have at a minimum the shipment ID and quantity being released as well as clear identification of who presented the release information.

For In-bond movements, carriers/CFS operators are allowed to accept the perforated/signed CF 7512 even if the ‘1C’ or ‘1D’ are not posted.

Mr. Hoffman’s memorandum of June 12, 2015:  ACE Air Manifest Releases



CBP ACE outreach resources

seal_aceAs you no doubt have heard, US Customs is on track to fully deploy ACE as CBP’s official system of record for trade by October 1, 2016.

To date, US Customs has done a terrific job of outreach to the trade on ACE.  Here are 3 key links:
In addition, please visit our blog for the latest on ACE.

West Coast ports: Who pays for chassis storage? Importers?

chassisA chassis shortage was a key issue in the recently settled labor dispute that crippled US West Coast ports, and in response, chassis operators at the gigantic Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex in March created a chassis pool to address inefficient chassis use at the ports.

Flash forward three months, and chassis continue to be a thorny problem at West Coast ports.

According to the Journal of Commerce:*

“Until last year, shipping lines owned most of the chassis that were used in harbor haulage. They stored their chassis at the terminals so there would always be equipment available for containers when they were discharged from the vessels. A typical terminal would devote eight to 10 acres to container storage.

However, over the past year, the shipping lines sold most of their chassis to chassis-leasing companies, and marine terminals are developing a business model for chassis storage that appears to be headed in one of two directions. If they have the space, they will allow storage, but will charge for it, or they will ban chassis storage altogether.”

It is expected that the new chassis owners will have to pay for storage through a gate fee which will ultimately be passed on to shippers, something now happening at the Port of Oakland.   The organization of marine terminal operators, which is currently evaluating chassis operations at a big picture level, claims that this may not be the case for other West Coast ports.   However, chassis pool operators remain concerned that an Oakland-type scenario will negatively impact the ports’ competitiveness.

(*JOC site registration required)

Breaking news: This weekend’s transition from Air AMS to ACE

seal_acePer US Customs’ CSMS #15-000323, on June 6, 2015, the Air Automated Manifest System (AMS) will go offline and on June 7, ACE will become the system of record for air manifests.

The facts regarding the outage window are detailed below:

  • Air Manifest: Air AMS will go offline at 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th and Air Manifests will be brought online in ACE by 5:00 AM EST, Sunday, June 7th.
  • ACS Entry/Entry Summary: ACS will go offline at 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th and will be brought back online no later than 5:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th.
  • During the June 6, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM outage window, CBP will not process FTZ Admissions/e214s (All FZ and FT APP ID’s) or FDA Prior Notice WP transactions.
  • Air Inbond Transactions: Filers should not send QX/WX ABI inbond transactions after 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th.  After 3:00 PM June 6th, filers should wait until 5:00 AM EST, Sunday, June 7th to submit air inbond ABI requests via the new QP/WP transaction.
  • Air Manifest Query:  Filers should stop using the ABI IN transaction to query airway bills as of 3:00 PM EST, Saturday, June 6th.  Filers should use the ACE ABI CQ Query starting at 5:00 AM EST, Sunday, June 7th.
  • All messages transmitted after Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 PM EST will be held and processed once that component of the system is brought back online.

The CSMS also details the user support procedures for the transition.