Simplified Entry Pilot Test to Begin Around Dec. 31, Run for Two Years
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced its plan to launch a pilot test to automate through the Automated Commercial Environment the merchandise entry and release process required prior to the filing of entry summaries. This simplified entry pilot test will begin on or about Dec. 31, 2011, and run for about two years. Initially it will only be open to entries filed in the air transportation mode, with truck, rail and ocean vessel arrivals expected to be included in later stages. Those interested in participating should notify CBP no later than Nov. 16. CBP will begin an evaluation of the initial phase after it has been underway for approximately 90 days to determine whether the pilot should be extended or expanded.
Fewer Data Elements Required for Entry. The current CBP Form 3461 used to make entry contains 27 data elements. In an effort to simplify the merchandise release process, allow for more streamlined electronic transmission for the filing broker, standalone filer and/or importer, and assist importers in finalizing cargo movement logistics, the simplified entry pilot test will reduce to the following 12 data elements the number required to obtain release of cargo transported by air: importer of record number, buyer name and address, buyer employer identification number (consignee number), seller name and address, manufacturer/supplier name and address, 10-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule number, country of origin, bill of lading/house air waybill number, bill of lading issuer code, entry number, entry type and estimated shipment value. The entry filer will also have the option to provide three additional data elements: ship to party name and address, consolidator name and address, and container stuffing location.
Initial Test Phase Rules. The entry information required by this test will be in lieu of filing the CBP Form 3461 or its electronic equivalent and allow for earlier release decisions and more certainty for importers in determining the logistics of cargo delivery. However, the simplified entry filing will not be in lieu of filing an entry summary as both an entry and entry summary, as permitted by 19 CFR 142.19. All entry summaries resulting from simplified entry data release must be made in ACE.
Filings under the simplified entry test will be considered customs business for purposes of 19 USC 1641 and the party filing simplified entry data must therefore have the right to make entry as provided in 19 USC 1484. Accordingly, only the importer or customs broker acting on the importer’s behalf may submit this filing, which will not change as the test is rolled out.
Other rules include the following.
• simplified entry filing will only be allowed for type 01 and type 11 consumption entries
• simplified entry data will only be accepted for entries that do not fall under the admissibility jurisdiction of other government agencies
• no formal entry filed under simplified entry can be released under a single transaction bond
• the filing of entries on split shipments or unassembled or disassembled entities will not be supported in the initial phase of the test
• the port of arrival and the port of entry and unlading must be the same for any simplified entry filed
• the manifested bill of lading quantity count and the release bill of lading quantity count covered by the simplified entry must match
• once CBP sends a release message, participants cannot send another simplified entry to replace or amend the one previously filed
Eligibility Requirements. Importer self-filers and customs brokers seeking to participate in and benefit from simplified entry functionality available in this test must have an ACE Portal Account and either be able to file ACE entry summaries or have shown the intent to do so. Importers seeking to participate must hold a Tier 2 status or higher in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, while brokers must be C-TPAT certified.
When submitting a request to participate, a party should include information regarding the estimated volume of entries anticipated to be filed under simplified entry and the identity of the ports where filings are likely to occur. Importer participants will be selected based on entry filing volume and diversity of industries represented, while broker participants will be selected based on entry filing volume, client diversity and ports served.