CBP guidance: Do not use unknown Manufacturer Identification Number on ISFs

US Customs (CBP) has just issued guidance regarding the use of the unknown Manufacturer Identification Number (MID) data to report a manufacturer (or supplier).  The use of the unknown MID is only allowed to be reported for ACE entry summary filings.  Pursuant to the applicable regulation, 19 CFR 149.3(a)(5), the importer must report the identity of the actual manufacturer (or supplier) at the line item level for Importer Security Filing (ISF).

Keep up to date on ACE programming issues

Wondering about the status of a particular programming issue identified in US Customs’ (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)?   Then simply visit CBP’s website to monitor issues that the agency is tracking.  Search by keyword, issue number, date opened, issue status and scheduled delivery date.   The issues list was just recently updated, so be sure to visit today.

US Customs updates ACE reports user guide

CBP has recently revised its online guidance document, “Running ACE Reports (for all Importer, Broker and Surety Trader Users).”  Of note is the addition of Appendix B,  “Assistance With Entry Summary Reports,” which notes that:

  • The Entry Summary Universe has been redesigned for ease of use and flexibility in creating and modifying ESM reports
  • The redesign corrects incompatibility issues that used to adversely affect reporting
  • Data objects now appear in alphabetical order within each sub-class

The  updated reporting guide can be found here.

CBP hosts informative ISF (10+2) webinar for the trade

As part of its continued public outreach, US Customs (CBP) recently hosted an Importer Security Filing (ISF) webinar for small-to-medium sized importers.  Panelists included John Jurgutis, Branch Chief, Vessel Manifest and ISF, and Craig Clark, Program Manager, who offered the following ISF program highlights:
ISFs by the numbers (1/26/10 – 5/2/10)
  • 2,453,200 ISFs submitted
  • 2,372,907 ISFs accepted (97%)
  • 80,293 ISFs rejected (3%)
  • 2,226 filers
  • 123,000+ importers of record
Top 5 error messages
  • Duplicate ISF
  • Invalid ISF transaction number
  • Invalid country code
  • Invalid HTS#
  • Invalid ID code
Top ISF issues identified
  • How does CBP measure timeliness?
    • Although regulations state 24 hours prior to lading, the practical approach measures by the vessel departure date minus 24 hours
  • Which bill of lading number should be used?
    • Must use the lowest bill of lading transmitted in AMS (house or regular)
  • Importer can’t get a bond because it missed the filing deadline
    • CBP is considering creating a Type 13 “Late ISF” coded transaction
  • Importer did not receive ISF “Bill on File” match message
    • CBP recognizes this as common issue when ISF filing precedes filing of customs manifest; recommends that importer or agent correct bill type on ISF
CBP ISF enforcement strategy
  • Apply a measured, commonsense approach to enforcement
  • Exercise the least amount of force necessary to obtain full compliance
  • Evaluate non-compliance on a case-by-case basis
  • Continue to provide outreach and guidance to the trade.
The webinar’s full PowerPoint presentation is available here.

Tips for new importers

US Customs has just issued revised tips for those new to importing (and exporting), covering such topics as licensing, merchandise classification, filing entries and Importer Security Filings (ISFs), and more. 

Click here for the official post.

Retailers hindered by difficulties in getting cargo delievered timely, inexpensively

As reported in The New York Times, US retailers are scrambling to find space on cargo ships for their imports, particularly from Asia.  Retailers “are outbidding each other to score scarce cargo space on ships, paying two to three times last year’s freight rates — in some cases, the highest rates in five years.”

Despite these efforts, even those who are able to secure space are not receiving merchandise in time for seasonal promotions, and the problem is expected to worsen for shipments during peak season.

The problems stems in large part from 2009, when retailers slashed inventories due to low demand in a recessionary economy. In response, carriers greatly reduced the number of ships and pared back service, and container manufacturers virtually ceased production. Given current economic volatility, both are being exceedingly careful in increasing their service levels, leaving many retailers in a lurch.

The full article, “Retailers Pay More to Get Cargo (No Guarantee),”  is available here.

Hyundai restores weekly Pacific Southwest (PSW) Service

Things are looking up for US importers, following the unprecedented capacity issues they have experienced for eastbound cargo from Asia over the last nine months.  Optimistic about increased 2010 trade volume from northeast Asia, Hyundai, the performance award winning ocean carrier, announced in a recent press release that it is adding capacity into the US/Asia Trade by bringing back its weekly PSW service to the US west coast.

This service will connect Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South China to the US ports of Oakland and Long Beach.  The first vessel/voyage, the Hyundai Commodore 524, departed Kaohsiung on May 20th and is set to arrive at Long Beach on June 6th

For the latest scheduling information please visit Hyundai’s website, or contact your local Hyundai sales office.

Posted by CNI’s guest blogger:  Sandy Taylor, District Sales Manager, Hyundai Merchant Marine.  Tel:  952-893-1345. E-mail: mpsjt@hmm21.com

Provide your input — survey on U.S.-Mexican border trade issues

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico are conducting a joint survey to obtain feedback from U.S. and Mexican companies and organizations whose businesses are impacted by the security and efficiency of the U.S.-Mexico border.  The survey responses will contribute to a border report, expected to be published this fall, which will be making recommendations to increase border security while facilitating trade and travel.

Take the survey.

CBP Commissioner Bersin to deliver keynote at AAEI conference

This Sunday, June 6, the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) kicks off its 89th Annual Conference & Expo at the Hilton New York City.  Always a compelling event, the exhibit hall and sponsorships are sold out, yet there is still time to register.  AAEI has just announced that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan D. Bersin will speak on Monday, June 7.  Other speakers include

  • Dan Brutto, President, UPS International
  • Rep. Bill Owens, of the 23rd District of New York
  • Check out the event’s agenda here.

    US Customs publishes FAQs for ACE

    Supply chain professionals now have another resource to help them in their day-to-day operations.  Last week, US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) published a 79-page comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and responses on its website related to its Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  Topics include: 

    • General ACE information
    • New ACE entry summary, accounts and revenue capabilities
    • ACE account application process
    • ACE portal account functionality
    • Periodic monthly statement filing
    • Electronic truck manifest
    • Reports

     ACE is the United States’ commercial trade processing system designed to automate border processing, to enhance border security and foster US economic security through lawful international trade and travel.

     US Customs intends that ACE will eventually replace its current import processing system, the Automated Commercial System (ACS). ACE is part of a multi-year CBP modernization effort, beginning in 2001, that is being deployed in phases.