Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)

US Customs & Border Protection

e-Manifest

Supply Chain Security

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is the next generation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) border processing technology designed to facilitate legitimate trade while strengthening border security.

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1.            Integrated On-Line Access

(a)          The ACE Secure Data Portal, essentially a customized Web page, connects CBP, the trade community, and participating government agencies by providing a single, centralized, on¬line access point for communications and information related to cargo shipments.

2.            Periodic Payments

(a)          With the ACE account-based system, monthly payment and statement capabilities are available. Duties and fees no longer have to be paid on a transaction-per-transaction basis, and com¬panies can more easily track their activities through customized account views and reports that better meet their business needs. ACE periodic payment users have the ability to wait until the 15th working day of the next month to pay for shipments re-leased during the previous calendar month. This provides a po¬tentially significant cash flow benefit.

(b)          To date, more than US$6 billion in duties and fees have been paid through the ACE monthly statement process since the first payment was made in July 2004. A total of $709.7 million in payments were collected via August 21,2006 monthly statements, representing approxi¬mately 26 percent of adjusted total statement collections.

3.            ACE Account Facts

(a)          There are currently more than 3,200 ACE portal accounts, in¬cluding more than 600 importer accounts, more than 400 bro¬ker accounts, and more than 2,200 carrier accounts. Non-portal ACE accounts are also available, which enable importers to use authorized brokers with ACE portal accounts to make payments without the importer creating a separate ACE portal account.

4.            Electronic Manifests (e-Manifests)

(a)          All carriers are required to submit manifests detailing ship¬ment, carrier, and other information to enter the United States. e-Manifests are simply electronically filed manifests. The e-Manifest feature is available at all ACE land border ports. To date, nearly 25,000 truck e-Manifests have been filed through a certified Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or the ACE Secure Data Portal. More than 330 companies are currently certified to file e-Manifests through EDI. EDI certification is not needed to file e-Manifests through the portal. Parties may submit e-Manifests with CBP directly at no charge, or authorized brokers, service providers, or other third parties designated by the carrier may also be used to help with filings, usually for a fee.

(b)          In 2007, CBP began to make the filing of e-Manifests mandatory, on a port-by-port basis. In the coming months, check the CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov and the Federal Register for notices that will detail which ports will b ecome mandatory, on what dates. Notice will be provided a minimum of 90 days before a mandatory policy is implemented.

5.            ACE Locations

6.            Total number of ACE ports: 47

(a)          States where ACE is deployed: Arizona, California, Michi¬gan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Washington. CBP is working to finish deploy¬ment at all 98 land-border ports.

(b)          Eventually ACE will reach all ports when, in the coming years, capabilities are deployed for air, rail, and sea cargo processing.

7.            ACE e-Manifest

(a)          The Trade Act of 2002 mandated that U.S. import cargo informa¬tion must be sent electronically to US Customs and Border Protec¬tion (CBP) prior to its arrival into the United States. To satisfy this requirement, CBP used Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS), Border Release Advanced Selectivity System (BRASS), elec¬tronic in-bond QP/WP, Customs Automated Forms Entry System (CAFES), and Free and Secure Trade Program (FAST). Soon it will be mandatory for all carriers to file their manifest electronically to comply with the Trade Act. Once this require¬ment has been mandated, the use of PAPS, CAFES, QP/WP, BRASS, and FAST can continue, however, CBP will no lon¬ger accept those processes as satisfying the Trade Act (one ex¬ception, FAST-NCAP (National Customs Automation

(b)          Program) will still satisfy the Trade Act requirements). Thus, carriers, importers, and brokers should continue using these processes to ensure that arriving trucks are cleared from the port of entry as expeditiously as possible. The ACE e-Manifest is now operational in the truck environ¬ment on a voluntary basis along both the Northern and South¬ern Border, but, as stated above, will be mandatory on a port-by-port basis by 2007.

(c)           The electronic transmission of information with the ACE e-Manifest Truck only replaces the requirement to present a pa¬per manifest. The transmission of the e-Manifest still requires either an Entry or an In-bond movement authorization for the goods to proceed.

8.            How to Apply for ACE

(a)          If a company has Internet access, a company is eligible.

(b)          Step 1: Fill out the ACE Application

9.            Applications can be found at: www.cbp.gov/modernization or by sending an e-mail to ACENow@dhs.gov

(a)          Fill out all required application fields on your computer

(b)          Print out the completed application

(c)           Step 2: Return the ACE Application to CBP

10.          Mail the completed application to: ACE Secure Data Portal, ACE Applications U.S. Customs and Border Protection Beauregard Building, Room A-314–3 7681 Boston Boulevard Springfield, VA 22153 CBP ACE Portal Support Center: (703) 921–6000

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