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Trade User Satisfaction with ACE on the Upswing Ahead of Mandatory Use Date

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that trade user rates of satisfaction with the Automated Commercial Environment are increasing as CBP deploys more ACE functionality ahead of the Nov. 1 deadline for mandatory filing of all electronic entries and corresponding entry summaries in ACE approaches.

Earlier this year CBP conducted a survey to measure trends and changes with overall user satisfaction level with ACE, assess ACE user satisfaction with features deployed through December 2014, gauge awareness of upcoming ACE mandatory use dates, determine when the trade anticipates filing entries and entry summaries in ACE, and evaluate trade users’ satisfaction with their client representatives.

More than 200 responses, 93 percent of which were from ACE users, revealed the following information.

- Based on the one-year and four-year trends, trade user satisfaction rates increased and dissatisfaction rates decreased.

- For ACE features deployed in deployments A through D, trade users were most satisfied with entry summary features and least satisfied with participating government agency-related processes.

- Most trade users (73 percent) were satisfied with their assigned client representatives, compared to only 11 percent that were dissatisfied.

- 91 percent of trade users were quite aware of the Nov. 1 deadline.

- Among all trade respondents, brokers/self-filers anticipate filing 100 percent of their entries and entry summaries in ACE as follows: 36 percent before July 4, 32 percent between July 1 and Oct. 4, and 32 percent between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1.

While the trade community generally supports CBP’s efforts to transition from ACS to ACE, there is still a sense of unease about the significant changes required to meet the Nov. 1 deadline, and those concerns emerged in the survey as well. CBP notes that it has since taken a series of actions to address those concerns. For example, with respect to trade readiness for the Nov. 1 deadline, all ABI filers have been approved for entry summary and two-thirds have been approved for cargo release based on the readiness of their software vendors. Nearly all (95 percent) of software vendors have been certified for entry summary and 63 percent have been certified for both entry summary and cargo release. ACE ambassadors have contacted the 1,041 filers who have not yet filed any entry summaries in ACE to ensure they are aware of and prepared for the Nov. 1 deadline.

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