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 CBP.gov.
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