Get the latest scoop on CBP’s Simplified Processes Initiative

On March 24, the NCBFAA sponsored a webinar on the Simplified Processes Initiative, presented by Randy Mitchell, Director, Commercial Operations and Entry Division, US Customs Office of Trade Policy & Programs.  Here’s a summary:

In 2011, CBP launched the Simplified Processes Initiative, a collaborative effort to develop innovative solutions to critical issues emerging at the intersection of trade facilitation, enforcement, and national security.  An early success was the implementation of the Simplified Entry (Cargo Release) pilot aimed at simplifying the importation process.

CBP reengaged the Simplified Processes Initiative in 2014 to advance border security and management; enhance U.S. competitiveness by enabling lawful trade and travel; and promote organizational innovation.

A Simplified Processes Working Group was established to identify challenges and discuss potential solutions to critical trade needs; gather requirements; and develop a proposed alternative. To date the group has identified five post-release areas of opportunity:

Monthly Summaries and National Statements

  • Filers may submit a monthly summary that includes releases over a calendar months’ time.
  • Each line of a monthly summary is considered a “reconfigured entry” that is subject to liquidation, protest and any other downstream process.
  • A separate National Financial Monthly Statement will include debits (duties, taxes, fees, bills and interest) and credits (refunds) netted as a total balance due for a calendar month.

If an importer elected to participate they would receive only one statement per month covering all ports of entry and there would be no Daily Statements to approve.  Also, the statements could include both Debits and Credits.


  • Allow for deemed liquidation of all consumption entries at one (1) year from the date of entry.
  • Implement processes to accommodate line-level liquidation.
  • Allow for the importer to obtain liquidation status details from their ACE portal account or

This will allow lines within an entry to liquidate without having to wait for lines subjected to AD/CVD case reviews to be resolved.  Also, it would benefit Drawback filings since they are also filed at the line-level.


  • Transition the protest process to an electronic format (this has already occurred and all Protests must now be filed in the ACE Portal.)
  • Expand the electronic protest filing to a broader range of trade stakeholders such as attorneys, importers, and sureties.
  • Auto-populate numerous Entry Summaries onto one protest while providing protest statuses on ACE.


  • File all reconciliation data electronically and only with necessary data elements.
  • Eliminate the requirement of having to file an 09 entry and extend liquidation for flagged entries/lines an extra year from the date of entry.
  • Manage reconciliation by account and permit filing at any Center or POE.

The vision is that Reconciliation entries will be replaced with Post Summary Corrections.  One of the biggest benefits would be that the Trade would only need to provide the reconciled amounts and not the original amounts since ACE already knows the original amounts.  Also, if no PSC is made, it indicates no changes are needed on the reconciled entry and is then subjected to liquidation. Finally, the process would allow a filer to retroactively flag/un-flag an entry/line through a PCS in ACE up to the deemed liquidation date.


  • Develop a process for the claimant to submit a “drawback profile” electronically along with automating other Drawback processes in ACE.
  • Track/validate if the bond coverage is sufficient prior to processing an Accelerated Payment requests.
  • Initiate the Desk Review and response processes electronically, to include DIS.

ACE controls will track and validate if the bond coverage is sufficient prior to processing an Accelerated Payment Request.  Drawback profiles will be submitted electronically using the 5106 form.

These process improvements are continuing to be reviewed and approved as necessary and are subject to budget approval.  Therefore, there is no firm date on when they will be rolled out.   Meanwhile, here’s the PowerPoint presentation from the webinar > Simplified Process Initiative_Webinar_March_2017

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 8.54.41 AM


Penn State: Take the survey to weigh in on value of C-TPAT program

logo-ctpatThe age old question: Is participating in the C-TPAT program worth it.  As blogged here previously, this question has generated its share of controversy.

Now, Penn State Erie – Black School of Business, is conducting research on C-TPAT’s value for business and supply chain risk compliance. (Penn State is repeatedly ranked as number the number one leader in supply chain education).

The university is seeking C-TPAT participants for a survey that will take 5-10 minutes.  They will share the survey results.  Please email Dr. Varun Gupta with any questions.




Save the date! OC World Trade Week Forum on May 18

Save the date!  CustomsNow is a sponsor and will exhibit at this fun, informative event put on by UPS and the Irvine Chamber of Commerce….






























































Register now for US Customs West Coast Trade Symposium

2017 w coast trade symp


CBP’s West Coast Trade Symposium will be held on May 24-25, 2017 at the DoubleTree Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This year’s symposium includes discussions on E-Commerce, Interagency Vision, Streamlining Processes and Innovation and Technology.

New this year, the WCTS will feature multiple tracks to choose from and Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) management roundtables.

CustomsNow will be in attendance.  See you there!


CBP offering free Simplified Processes Initiative webinar

The Simplified Processes Initiative (SPI) is an effort to develop a transformation strategy to optimize the process of importing goods through collaboration with the trade and CBP.

Click here to view a summary of the information that presenter Randy Mitchell, Director, Commercial Operations and Entry Division, Office of Trade, Trade Policy and Programs will cover during this free webinar on March 24 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.


Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 8.54.41 AM

The Hill: Apparel, footwear and retail will greatly suffer if US border tax enacted


  • “House Republicans continue to aggressively push their border adjustment tax (BAT) and, if successful, Americans will soon find it hard to get affordable clothing.”
  • “In general, the House Republican “A Better Way” tax blueprint has many excellent attributes. The problem is that the “pay for” is a direct hit on the apparel, footwear and retail industry. It is also a direct hit on the American consumer.”
  • Prices on affected goods (98 percent of all apparel and footwear is imported) are projected to rise 20% or more.  And will the struggling retailer sector be able to survive?

Read the full story.

How to hire and retain millennials for your supply chain roles











How do supply chain professionals attract millennials to jobs in the industry?

According to Gartner,

For a generation that has grown up around “cool” brands like Apple, Facebook and Google, careers in supply chain can have limited appeal, especially when it comes to recruiting for positions like data scientists and analytics talent. Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) predict that failure to attract millennials will be a huge barrier to innovation, especially given the considerable gap between today’s skill sets and those that are likely to be required in three to five years’ time.

Gartner has identified four key strategies CSCOs can employ to attract and retain the best young talent:

  1. Use great internship experiences to attract millennial talent
  2. Create a culture that mentors millennials
  3. Develop career development plans from the start
  4. Give millennial talent access to cross-functional programs

Get more details here.

Also, see our related blog post “Enticing young supply chain professionals with SaaS.”

ACE: New and updated PGA info posted on

pgasseal_aceCBP has recently posted new and updated information on ACE and Partner Government Agencies on



Also posted on

FDA Webinar – January 31, 2017fda1
The purpose of this webinar was to review updates to FDA’s Supplemental Guidance for ACE Version 2.5 and the related PGA samples. FDA also addressed trade questions during the webinar.
Webinar Recording | Transcript | Presentation | Technical Guides



Retailers try to stay ahead of “seismic shift” in industry

(Andrew Gombert / EPA)
(Andrew Gombert / EPA)


Target is taking extraordinary steps — such as slashing prices and updating its stores’ assortments —  to address a “seismic shift” in the retail industry as customers spend more on experiences and demand quicker, more convenient ways to shop.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “sales also are moving online, and even when customers pick Target over an online competitor like Amazon, they shop differently.”  Those trends have hit all traditional retailers, such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, J.C. Penny and Kohl’s.  Learn more.