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CBP Expands Cargo Release Test to Include New Capabilities, Data Elements and Participants

Monday, November 04, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a general notice renaming and modifying its ongoing test of simplified entry functionality in the Automated Commercial Environment. These changes are effective as of Nov. 4 and the test, which will now be known as the ACE Cargo Release Test, is expected to run until about Nov. 1, 2015.

In this test, filers submit a smaller entry data set (see below) while carriers submit the manifest/Air Cargo Advance Screening security filing (as appropriate). Filers provide the ACE entry information as soon as it is available. This advance filing allows CBP to run its targeting earlier and then message a release indication on the goods. If additional data is required, filers can resolve these issues before the plane leaves or during transit, resulting in fewer goods held at arrival and more goods released into commerce quickly.

Eligibility. CBP is removing the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism status of importer self-filers as an eligibility criterion after having made a similar change with respect to customs brokers in August 2012.

In addition, the test is being opened to all eligible participants for an indefinite period. CBP will endeavor to accept all new eligible applicants on a first come, first served basis, but reserves the right to limit participation if the volume of applicants exceeds its administrative capabilities.

The test remains open only to type 01 and type 11 consumption entries filed in the air transportation mode, although expansion to entries by truck, rail and vessel is anticipated at some point.

New Filing Capabilities. New capabilities for ACE cargo release filing include (a) the ability for CBP to accept or deny corrections and/or cancellations to an ACE cargo release entry sent via electronic data interchange, (b) split shipments in accordance with current business practices, (c) allowance for partial quantities in the event that all of a split shipment does not arrive at the port of entry within 10 days, provided no in-bond is involved, and (d) entry on cargo that has been moved in-bond from the first U.S. port of unlading. These new capabilities include functionality specific to the filing and processing of formal consumption entries and informal entries.

New Data Elements. The cargo release test currently allows participants to submit the following 12 data elements, rather than the 27 required on CBP Form 3461, 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 also has the option to provide three additional data elements: ship to party name and address, consolidator name and address, and container stuffing location.

CBP is now introducing three new data elements in certain situations: port of entry (if an in-bond number is provided in the entry submission, the planned port of entry must also be provided); in-bond (if applicable); and bill quantity (if bill of lading quantity is specified in the entry, it becomes the entered and released quantity for that bill; if not, full bill quantity will be entered and released for that bill).

CBP Processing. Upon receipt of the simplified entry data, CBP will process the submission and subsequently transmit its cargo release decision to the filer. Releases will be made at the house bill level. The merchandise will then be considered to be entered upon its arrival in the port with the intent to unlade.

Entries using the simplified entry transaction data set will only be processed in participating airports, and cargo release as a result of this transaction set will only be issued in these airports, which are as follows: Atlanta, Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, JFK, Los Angeles, Memphis, Newark, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle.

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