Government and industry have been working for years on a new automated system known as ACE, the Automated Commercial Environment, used to electronically support the facilitation of importing and exporting goods. By the end of 2016, ACE will become the Single Window - the primary system through which the trade community will report imports and exports and the government will determine admissibility. As functionality has been developed and released to the trade community, trade users have invested in the new system and transitioned from the legacy system (Automated Commercial System ACS). The trade community has worked alongside CBP and various Partner Government Agencies to ensure that the functionality is released in a manner which allows for adequate testing, training supported with business rules documents, and contingency plans so the flow of cargo is not disrupted during the transitions and the costs to business respected. USFIA members should login to continue reading this update.

CBP issued a favorable announcement earlier this week extending the trial period before ACE is to be mandated. Importers have most likely been kept informed on ACE development by their brokers and have been working with them to plan for any business changes that use of ACE for Customs and PGA transactions will require. This engagement and planning needs to continue as the electronic interfaces with Partner Government Agencies ramp up and the mandatory use deadlines approach. Importers are strongly encouraged to review their broker’s readiness for full ACE implementation.

CSMS# 15-000644 - Updated Timeline for Mandatory Transition to ACE for Electronic Entry and Summary Filing

08/31/2015 04:47 PM EDT

Working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Interagency Executive Council, and the White House, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been actively tracking and assessing stakeholder readiness for the mandatory filing of all electronic entry and entry summaries in ACE. While significant capabilities have been deployed to date, concerns about stakeholder readiness have necessitated a reassessment of our current timelines. We appreciate the input from the trade community and have adjusted the mandatory transition to ACE for electronic entry and entry summary filing as follows:

Nov 1, 2015: Beginning of a transition period for electronic entry and entry summary filings in ACE to allow industry and participating government agencies more time to test and provide feedback as they fully transition into the new system. Use of ACE is allowed and encouraged for electronic entry and corresponding entry summary filings for entry types 01, 03, 11, 51, and 52 with or without PGA data.

Feb 28, 2016: At this time, filers will only be permitted to file in ACE, and no longer permitted to file in ACS, all electronic entries and entry summaries. In addition, electronic FDA, NHTSA, and APHIS (Lacey) data must be filed in ACE and ACS will no longer be available.

July 2016: Upon publication of the Final Rule, ACE must be used for filing AMS, APHIS Core, ATF, CDC, DCMA, DDTC, DEA E&C, EPA, FSIS, FWS*, NMFS and TTB data. Hybrid submissions will no longer be allowed.* This requirement for FWS is contingent on FWS having its regulatory revisions in place by the July 2016 publication of the CBP Final Rule eliminating hybrid filings.

We would like to reiterate that the transition period initiated on November 1, 2015 does not impact our December 2016 deadline for full implementation of the Single Window via ACE. We appreciate all efforts from the trade community, Partner Government Agencies and CBP to prepare for this transition and encourage all to continue working toward the full transition to ACE.