A follow up to our earlier blog regarding the downtime experienced on ACE on November 14, CBP has released the following formal statement. In it, they discuss the outage, their evaluation of the current downtime procedures, and what steps they are taking to further enhance their procedures. CBP is also working closely with Commercial Operations Advisory Council (COAC) to identify areas of concern, and NCBFAA is seeking feedback from it’s members to assist.
CBP Statement Regarding ACE System Status
November 15, 2017
The ACE system resumed cargo processing at approximately 10:00 p.m. EST last night and continues to process normally. All transactions backlogged in the queue were processed as of approximately 1:00 a.m. EST. Our technicians, in collaboration with IBM technicians, are working around the clock to identify the root cause of the disruption to the ACE database. We do know that this issue and the Aug. 2 outage issue are unrelated.
CBP executive leadership continues to communicate with our ports receiving initial reports that downtime procedures worked as expected. The Office of Field Operations is using this event to perform an evaluation of these procedures by polling the ports to identify issues or deficiencies, as well as best practices, in order to enhance our downtime procedures. In addition, CBP client representatives are continuing to assess impacts to trade. Further, CBP will continue engaging the COAC Outage working group and other trade partners to identify areas of concern surrounding operations and our response to the event.
CBP is looking to add new members to their COAC group, or Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee. Members of COAC work closely with CBP to make recommendations on many trade functions. Read more articles about COAC’s work with CBP here.
The following is an announcement today from the NCBFAA…
CBP is asking individuals interested in serving on the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) to apply for membership on or before July 24. COAC provides advice and makes recommendations to the Secretaries of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on all matters involving the commercial operations of CBP and related functions.
Under its charter, the COAC:
- Advises the Secretaries of the Treasury and DHS on all matters involving the commercial operations of CBP, including advising with respect to significant changes that are proposed with respect to regulations, policies, or practices of CBP;
- Provides recommendations to the Secretaries of the Treasury and DHS on improvements to the commercial operations of CBP;
- Collaborates in developing the agenda for COAC meetings; and
Performs such other functions relating to the commercial operations of CBP as prescribed by law or as the Secretaries of the Treasury and DHS jointly direct.
Read the Federal Register Notice for information and application process here.
Learn more about the history and role of COAC here.
COAC, the Advisory Committee on the Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection, wants to know how successful US Customs’ trade facilitation efforts are at lowering the trade’s cost and burden of doing business. To that end, COAC has posted the next installment of its annual survey, seeking responses from both importers and import service providers on current, planned and future CBP facilitation efforts.
As a result of the highly successful 2012 survey, CBP was able to proceed with the following achievements:
- Establish a working group to analyze CBP’s current partnership programs based on survey feedback.
- Begin work on establishing Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE) metrics – including a customer satisfaction survey and the pursuit of academic studies on the CEEs.
COAC will tally the trade efficiency survey results by respondent type and industry type, and make recommendations to US Customs for future efforts.
The survey can be found here. All responses will be kept anonymous. Last day to respond is Tuesday, July 23.
US Customs recently published the names of the 13th COAC members:
- David Berry, Swift Transportation Corporation, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Leman Chip Bown, Jr., FedEx Trade Networks Transport & Brokerage, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Scott Boyer, Kraft Foods Group, Inc., Madison Wis.
- Scott Childers, The Walt Disney Company, Kissimmee, Fla.
- Mary Ann Comstock, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Sweet Grass, Mont.
- Jeffrey Coppersmith, Coppersmith Global Logistics, Inc., El Segundo, Calif.
- William Earle, National Association of Beverage Importers, Washington, D.C.
- Matthew Fass, Maritime Products International, Newport News, Va.
- William Ferguson, NYK Line (North America) Inc., Secaucus, N.J.
- Brandon Fried, Airforwarders Association, Washington, D.C.
- Carol Hallett, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
- Suzanne Hoeger, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill.
- Vincent Iacopella, Janell Group of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Calif.
- Karen M. Kenney, Liberty International, Inc., Pawtucket, R.I.
- Kathleen Neal, Regal-Beloit Corporation, El Paso, Texas
- Julie Ann Parks, Raytheon Company, Plano, Texas
- James Phillips, General Motors LLC, Detroit, Mich.
- Elizabeth Shaver, Airlines for America, Washington, D.C.
- Edward Ted Sherman, Target Corporation, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
- George Weise, Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, Washington, D.C.
COAC is a 20-member council that advises the secretaries of the US Departments of Homeland Security and Treasury on the commercial operations of CBP and related DHS and Treasury functions.
As previously blogged here, the 12th COAC made some significant accomplishments, including ACE enhancements and CEEs.
In the January 2013 print edition of American Shipper, the editorial board sang the praises of the 12th Department of Homeland Security Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC), whose term recently expired.
COAC works closely with CBP, providing an industry perspective to new trade initiatives. The most recent assemblage of COAC “worked relentlessly for the last two years, producing 43 total recommendations that CBP is implementing or still reviewing.” Here are some examples of their collaborative efforts:
We are hoping the 13th COAC will build on this momentum in 2013 and beyond, including assistance in securing funding to support ACE modernization.
COAC, the Advisory Committee on the Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection, wants to know how successful US Customs’ trade facilitation efforts are at lowering the trade’s cost and burden of doing business. To that end, COAC has posted a survey, seeking responses from both importers and import service providers on current, planned and future CBP facilitation efforts.
The trade efficiency survey results will be tallied by respondent type and industry type, and used by COAC to make recommendations about how Customs will approach partnership benefits.
The survey can be found here. All responses will be kept anonymous. Last day to respond is Wednesday, June 27.
At a recent meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of CBP (COAC), members expressed concern about a potential shortfall of funding for ACE. According to the Journal of Commerce, US Customs “has $140 million to operate and maintain a commercial trade processing system, but there’s no money in the 2012 budget to further develop the program,” quoting Cynthia Allen, executive director of the Customs’ ACE program.
This troubles COAC member George Weise, who is concerned about the viability of ACE modernization projects currently in the hopper, such as simplified entry. “You can’t really have a simplified entry process that’s going to lower transaction costs without ACE,” said Mr. Weise, who as former commissioner as CBP’s legacy agency (the US Customs Service) and as a COAC member, has been working on ACE rollout for two decades. He believes that the funding issue has reached “crisis” proportions, and exhorted fellow COAC members: “We need to have our voices heard on [Capitol] Hill. We’ve got to get the funds. We’ve got to get this moving forward. It’s 20 years overdue.”
See CBP’s full recap of the COAC meeting here.