CBP’s ACE Reporting Will Reduce Global Trade Risks

Even though the rollout of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) has had a bevy of delays, quicker and easier data access will benefit government agencies and the trading industry. As the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to roll out the ACE Single Window program throughout 2016, the goal remains the same: to eliminate (or drastically reduce) paper-based processes, centralize import and export data, and make it easier for industries to comply with complex regulations. Additionally, shippers and government agencies will produce more complete and accurate reporting as they access a central repository of information, or what many identify as "one source of the truth."

The Single Window initiative offers the benefit of interacting with only one agency (i.e., U.S. CBP) for the electronic submission of all relevant admissibility requirements. However, it also increases the burden of advance and complete preparation by the importer for all required data elements prior to the arrival of goods to ensure an uninterrupted supply chain and Customs admission process.

For example, with advance and complete preparation, an importer will now be required to provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) additional data that may not have been collected previously, such as the FDA’s specific commodity type, commodity sub-type, and intended use code for products that fall under their area of responsibility. Securing the appropriate data to fulfill these Partner Government Agency (PGA) declaration requirements may require new outreach programs internally, as well as with your supply chain partners, in advance of the shipment arrival date.

Additionally, while ACE updates will improve recordkeeping capabilities, CBP regulations will need to keep up as well. For example, despite the imaging capabilities available with ACE, the recordkeeping regulations 19 CFR 163 are still in play—meaning you must maintain and produce documents on demand in the format in which CBP requests. Keep an eye out as CBP aligns its regulations with changes in ACE.

ACE provides an avenue for shippers and PGAs to access its data and generate reports via the ACE portal. The portal delivers to users the ability to:

  • Access standard reports
  • Run modified reports
  • Create customized reports
  • Share reports

Some examples of the standard reports for importers include the following (note that as of February 15, 2016, many standard reports were retired by ACE to improve system usability):

  • AM-003 Entry Summary Lines by Filer
  • AM-008 Entry Summary Line Detail report
  • AM-068 Entry Summary Report
  • AM-100 Courtesy Notice of Liquidation Report
  • AM-071 Cargo Entries by Filer Code Report

As the ACE system continues to deploy throughout 2016, quicker access to import and export information for government agencies and private industries is a key benefit. The reporting capabilities remain an increasingly important component of ACE. Global trade users of all abilities can now quickly answer key questions that might help them better analyze global trade risks and performance. These questions include the following:

  • What duties are involved or were paid?
  • What is the country (or countries) of origin?
  • What was the total dollar amount imported by individual suppliers and manufacturers?
  • What was the cargo entry exam data by Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number?
  • How can we best monitor antidumping/countervailing (AD/CVD) and Temporary Importations under Bond (TIBs)?

Good things come to those who wait; when the deployment of the ACE Single Window is complete, importers will gain the long-term benefits of streamlined reporting and quicker access to accurate trade information. Increased visibility by shippers, Customs, and PGAs will reduce today’s manually intensive processes, cutting costs and, ultimately, improving the identification of dangerous or prohibited cargo and shipments.