ICPA Conference Registration Opens- Grab your Wingman and get to San Diego


ICPA Target on Compliance

The ICPA serves the needs of international trade compliance professionals, and Customs Now is proud to be a member.  The upcoming annual conference is the must-attend event for all import and export professionals, and this year it’s right in our backyard! Come and network and attend seminars surrounding international trade in sunny San Diego March 11-14 2018.

Conference cost includes admission to sessions, meals during the event, and conference materials. CCS and CES points are available for attendance. See you there!

ICPA agenda

Session Descriptions

Register here





April Special: Join ICPA for only $50



Whatta deal!  The International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) is offering a New Member April Special annual rate of $50 for Individual Members only.


  1. Only applies to NEW Members (not an active member for at least 2 years)
  2. Does not apply to employees of Service Providers
  3. Visit the ICPA website to join!  Offer valid through April 30.

One of the unique features of ICPA is the ability of members to pose questions anonymously to well over 2000 compliance professionals. Answers to these questions are then shared with the entire group. The ICPA family shares and gains new knowledge every day.

Well worth the investment!

CBP outlines benefits to the trade from ACE

As mentioned previously in this blog, one of US Customs’ top priorities is enhancement of ACE so that it may supplant ACS in two years as the main electronic filing system for import of cargo.

To that end, CBP has been touting ACE at every opportunity, as part of its mission to generate awareness and interest among the trade.  Customs has recently published a document, “Trade Benefits from the Automated Commercial Environment,” that does a fantastic job of setting out a summary of functionality currently deployed in ACE, as well as the benefits that accrue to various segments of the trade.

The functionality currently deployed includes:

  • e-Manifest:  Truck
  • e-Manifest: Rail and Sea
  • Entry Summary Filings
  • Post-Summary Correction filings
  • ACE Secure Data Portal Accounts
  • Periodic Monthly Statements
  • ACE Reporting

The document then outlines the specific benefits, by functionality, that apply to the following trade segments:

  • Trade Account Owners
  • Brokers
  • Carriers
  • Importers
  • Sureties

Interestingly, CBP also highlights benefits for Self-Filers; that is, those who self-file their customs entries. The benefits are numerous and significant, and are just another reason to direct file entries…in ACE.

The complete ACE benefits document is available here.

Highlights from the 2012 ICPA Conference

CustomsNow recently attended and exhibited at the 2012 International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) conference in Atlanta.  As usual, there was a terrific exchange of information among the attendees.  Some key takeaways were:


Customs’ new system for the filing of entries, ACE,  is on a fast track and CBP anticipates completely turning off the legacy system (ACS) in approximately 2 years.  Before then, certain functionality within ACS will be turned off if no longer necessary.  For instance, when the transition of Rail and Sea e-Manifest filings to ACE is completed by October of this year, AMS will be decommissioned in the Automated Commercial System (ACS).

Cindy Allen, who heads up the ACE project for Customs, explained that CBP is already working in ACE and it is their “system of record.”  Even if you’re filing in ACS today, your entry summary data is transferred to ACE for processing by CBP.  Cindy strongly encouraged brokers and self-filers to transition to ACE as soon as possible.  Her favorite quote on this topic is “I’d rather be on the bus and not under it.”

Simplified Entry

This simplified entry pilot process is a game-changer and makes a lot of sense.   Entry filers will be able to file their entries as soon as the bill of lading information is available and CBP will make their admissibility decision.  (Currently they will only provide a release notification 5 days before ETA.)

While your shipment is en-route, you will be able to work with CBP or any Other Government Agencies (OGA) to resolve any issues or concerns they may have  (Often the only “issue” is just that that CBP or an OGA must verify that the importer has the necessary permit/document that is required for importing their product) and obtain a full release before the cargo arrives in the US.  This will provide more predictability and lead to less delays at the port.  Simplified entry may eventually allow for the entry summary information to be filed on an aggregate basis, perhaps once a month.

Direct Filing

There was a presentation on direct filing entries versus using a broker.  The pros and cons for each option were discussed in a fair and balanced way.   In the end, the consensus seemed to be that direct filing is a compelling option, due to the savings and increased control that accrue to the importer, if the importers has a solid understanding of the entry process.   Importers of complicated products (special trade programs, FDA-regulated, etc.) that are interested in direct filing should consider hiring at least one individual familiar with the entry process who can then document and train the entire department.   In addition, self-filing entries remotely brings greater uniformity to the process and reduces the need for port-specific entry knowledge.

Thanks to all who stopped by our booth.  We enjoyed meeting you and hearing your ideas.

CustomsNow's booth at ICPA 2012 in Atlanta - L to R: Nic Adams, VP - Client Services; Randy Green, VP - Operations & Support; Karin Smith, CEO

CustomsNow exhibits at ICPA Conference in Atlanta — March 18-21

We’re excited to share our direct filing solutions with you in Atlanta!

We may be new to the neighborhood, but we’re not new to compliance. As long-time industry professionals, we know what it takes to design, implement and manage a world class direct filing program.  We’ve done it for some of the largest importers in the country and we can do it for you.

CustomsNow is the leading provider of ABI & AMS software and is unique in that we are both an ACE Certified ABI vendor and a fully licensed Customs Broker.  This combination allows us to support your import initiatives in a way that other software companies can’t.

Here’s what a few of our clients are saying…

“The added compliance, speed of filing and cost benefits has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to a continued partnership with CustomsNow.”  – Anthony Melendez, Director of Imports and Customs Compliance, Wet Seal / Arden B.

“The knowledge and integrity of the CustomsNow team was a major factor in our decision to self-file.  They made the system integration an easy process.  Within two months of implementation we were self-filing even more entries than anticipated, thus further reducing our entry fee cost outlay.”  – Larry Matthews, Director of International Trade and Customs Compliance, Medtronic.

CustomsNow – simply delivering you the best-in-class SaaS technology with real-world compliance experience, and the industry’s best support at a cost you’d be very happy with.

See you in Atlanta – booth 129!