2018 Customs Broker Triennial Status Report and Fee Submission Begins Dec. 15

CBP-logo-1Customs Brokers… don’t forget!


The submission period for the 2018 CBP Triennial Status Report and fee for all licensed Customs brokers opens Dec. 15, 2017, and runs through Feb. 28, 2018.

The deadline for submitting the 2018 triennial status report and fee is Feb. 28, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. (EST).

Over 14,000 active U.S. Customs brokers can pay electronically through Pay.gov with a credit card, debit card, and digital wallet payments, e.g., PayPal and Amazon Pay. No additional fees are charged for any payments, and receipts are provided electronically. CBP encourages brokers to submit fees electronically via Pay.gov; however, a paper status report and payment may be submitted to the port that originally delivered the license.

Licensed Customs brokers must include an employee list, if applicable, with each status report submitted to CBP in accordance with 19 CFR 111.28(b). In addition, each individually licensed broker must state whether or not he/she still meets the applicable requirements of 19 CFR 111.11 and 111.19 and has not engaged in any conduct that could constitute grounds for suspension or revocation under section 111.53. Broker employee lists and any additional detail can be submitted as a PDF file attachment to the Pay.gov online form.

Click here to learn more about filing options and requirements for the 2018 Triennial submission.


CustomsNow Bootcamp – ISF “how to”


Ever wonder how EASY it is to file an ISF and how EASY it is to automate the filing? 

Well, now courtesy of the experts at CustomsNow, you can find out first-hand. Please join us on June 29th, 1:00 pm CST, so we can take the mystery out of this process for you.

Spend an hour with CustomsNow experts to see the filing process firsthand, then stick around for the Q&A.

Direct file made easy and accurate with incredible cost savings!  “It’s what we do and we do it well”.  Hope you join us.

This event qualifies for 1.5 CCS Credits from the NCBFAA.

Develop the knowledge of your compliance team!

Space is limited.  Register today!

Retail industry undergoing sea change; direct filing with CustomsNow™ can help weather the storm

retailstoresclosing2017The US retail landscape is rapidly changing. Pundits cite numerous reasons — Amazon, oversupply of brick-and-mortar stores, changing consumer shopping habits, etc. — but this chart says it all.  Combined with closings in recent years, and more predicted, it’s clear that retailers who want to survive need to rethink their strategies.

For those retailers who are looking to cut significant costs out of their import supply chain, consider direct filing with CustomsNow.  In a time where companies are looking to outsource processes to save money, direct filing is the one process that every importer should perform in-house:

  • Realize cost savings of up to 90% off third-party filing fees, an estimated savings of $100,000 per 1,000 entries
  • Eliminate “extra” fees — lines, invoices, handling
  • Gain soft-dollar savings from reduced errors and post-entry workload

Self-filers also see improved compliance rates and gain valuable control over their supply chain.  And CustomsNow offers free support by Licesned Customs Brokers, who have decades of experience working for large retail importers.  Learn more.


American Shipper report — All the Right Moves: Importers Turn to Self-Filing

In follow-up to last month’s post, here’s an executive summary of a recent American Shipper report, highlighting why US importers are taking control and self-filing (direct filing) their customs clearance documents.

AmerShip - self-filing

American Shipper report: Number of self-filing importers has doubled!

A significant development in the US importing world:  American Shipper has just released an import benchmark study,All The thumbsupRight Moves: Importers Turn to Self-Filing,” which reports that the percentage of importers who are direct filing their customs entries nearly doubled in 2016 from 2014 and 2015 levels.

And here’s why:

  1. Importers in general are becoming more comfortable with tools and systems that let them self-file (direct file) some or all of their entries.
  2. The cutover to ACE this year placed some shippers in position where they might have been more prepared for ACE than their brokers, and so felt better served by filing themselves.
  3. There’s a general trend toward filing self-reliance in the trade, where importers want more control over their filing destiny. They want increased accuracy without having to go through their broker for corrections.

The free report is available here (registration required).

Please use these links to the CustomsNow™ website to learn more about direct filing — and automating your import clearance process —  with our ACE-compliant solutions backed by support by licensed customs brokers:




2014 ACE User Satisfaction Survey Results



Following are the high level results of US Customs’ January/February 2015 survey of the trade on satisfaction with ACE in calendar year 2014.  There were about 200 respondents, of which 93% were ACE users.

  • Based on the 1-year and 4-year trends, trade user satisfaction rates increased and dissatisfaction rates decreased
  • For ACE features deployed through Deployment A – D, trade users were most satisfied with entry summary features and least satisfied with PGA related processes
  • Trade users were satisfied with their assigned client representatives:  73% Satisfied / 16% Neutral / 11% Dissatisfied
  • Trade users were quite aware of the November 1, 2015 mandatory use date:  91%
  • Among all trade respondents, Brokers/Self Filers anticipate filing 100% of their Entry/ES before Nov. 1, 2015 as below:
    • Before  Jul. 4, 2015 – 36%
    • Jul. 4 – Oct. 1, 2015 – 32%
    • Oct. 1 – Nov. 1, 2015 – 32%

CBP also identified 22 new trade users’ requirements, based on the following respondents’ concerns:

  • Ease of use
  • System functionality
  • Reports
  • General ACE system
  • Training



Adding staff to a trade compliance department

cubiclesLooking for additional headcount in your trade compliance group but are afraid to ask?  Don’t be.  Matt Beck, author of the Ask The Trade Compliance Manager Blog, opines that even though adding new employees is a tricky subject in many companies, it’s better to make a thoughtful case than to never ask at all.

Among other things, Beck suggests:

“In making the case, above all you need to show the decision-makers that you have done all of the necessary analysis and that you are extremely certain that you absolutely need a new person. Show how the current situation is inadequate, particularly through increased risk or hemorrhaging money. Back up your assertion with hard numbers (duty savings, export license application times, etc.) if you can. Paint a picture of what your department would look like with a new person on-board including what their job responsibilities will be, how current employees’ job responsibilities will change and what will happen once this person is on-board to justify cost of having them.”

As for increasing import staff in particular, in a previous blog post, CustomsNow™ outlined additional considerations, such as:

  • Import volume
  • Complexity of entries
  • Involvement of PGAs
  • Whether an LCB license is required
  • Whether an importer is direct filing its own entries and ISFs

As to the latter point, and critical to the headcount discussion, direct filers often do not require additional staff to roll out a self-filing program.  We have found that most average sized importers have sufficient resources on staff to implement the initial direct filing process.  Additional staffing may be necessary, however, as savings are generated and the direct filing programs expands further.

ACE Queries: Cargo, Manifest, Entry, Release, In-Bonds… Oh my!

ace screen

Did you know that very soon there will be powerful ACE query for those with access to an ACE-certified ABI system?  This ACE query, called “ACE Cargo/Manifest/Entry/Release Query” or “CQ”, will provide those in the the supply chain with a “need to know” quick and easy shipment status information.

What types of statuses?  Brokers and self-filing importers can easily query their own entries and entry summaries to ensure release, as before.  However, the better news is that others involved in the supply chain can query the status of ANY in-bond shipment, and ocean, rail, truck, or air waybill manifest information.

Plus, with ACE, CustomsNow™ is seeing additional information being returned in these queries such as in-bond status, in-bond origin and destination ports, and more.  This new visibility can be crucial to those with an interest in moving the goods, such as a bonded warehouse, or a bonded trucker who relies heavily accurate information being on file with CBP prior to dispatch.

CBP currently has this functionality in “certification” with a live release date coming soon (see CSMS# 15-000226).

#ACEmanifestquery #ACEquery #ACEsoftware #ACE

ACE: PSC process is a breeze for correcting entry type

seal_aceRecently, a client of CustomsNow™ inadvertently filed an ‘01’ type entry for product that was subject to ADD (type ‘03′).  In the past, the importer could correct this only by requesting that CBP cancel the original entry (a manual process which can take several days) and create a new, corrected, entry.

Fortunately, however, the client is direct filing their entry summaries in ACE and we were able to show them how to make the correction using the Post Summary Correction process.  What used to be an arduous process is now a very simple fix.  One of the many benefits of ACE filing….

Basics of direct filing customs entries and ISFs, part 3

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 third installment of helpful FAQs that provide general guidance on self-filing with an approved ABI software provider such as CustomsNow™.  (See FAQs Part 1 and Part 2).

Who takes care of the additional steps when a Customs or other exam is required?

As a self-filer, you are responsible to arrange for the movement of the container and/or the devanning of the cargo. Therefore it is important to establish a relationship with a trucking company and Customs Exam Station (CES) within the port of entry.

How do I pay the collect freight charges and or submit an original bill of lading (OBL) to the carrier?

The payment and/or OBL can be submitted directly to the carrier or freight forwarder in the U.S. any time prior to the release of the freight.

Who arranges the delivery of the shipment after clearance?

Delivery can be arranged by either the forwarder, carrier or by the importer. In the CustomsNow™ system, a delivery order is auto-populated as the entry is created making it very simple to print, fax or email to the delivering carrier.

Will I have access to entry / liquidation status of my entries?

With 24/7 Customs access via ABI you’ll be able to not only query the entry and liquidation status of entries which you direct file, but on any of your entries regardless of by whom they were filed. The only thing needed is the complete entry number. The query returns details such as current status, scheduled liquidation date, duties and taxes.

What are the recordkeeping requirements for direct filers?

CBP’s recordkeeping requirements for importers are the same whether the entries are direct filed or filed by a broker. The importer is required to keep copies of all entries and related documents according to the regulations. With CustomsNow™you’ll be able to print or save to soft copy (with CBP approval) all documents, plus the documents are accessible for reprint at anytime in the future.

What if I decide I don’t want to direct file anymore?

There is no requirement from either CustomsNow™ or CBP to direct file once you’re set up. The filer code issued by CBP is yours whether it is used or not.