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ACE Test for Imports of FWS-Regulated Goods Reopened

Monday, April 23, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is modifying and reopening its test of the submission of certain import data and documents for commodities regulated by the Fish and Wildlife Service through the Automated Commercial Environment. These modifications, which will become operational as of May 23, apply to filing options and restrictions as well as participation and discontinuation of participation.

CBP first announced this test in May 2016, stating that participants would electronically submit (a) data contained in FWS form 3-177 (Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish and Wildlife) using the partner government agency message set and (b) any required original permits or certificates, as well as copies of any other documents required under the FWS regulations, via the Document Image System. However, the test was suspended in January 2017 due to a lack of participation as well as industry concerns regarding the design of the message set.

CBP is now reopening this test with the following modifications.

Filing Options. Under the original test, participants were required to submit the declaration data to ACE when filing an entry using the PGA message set and had to refrain from filing the data and accompanying documents in the FWS eDecs system. Filers now have the following options and do not need to notify CBP or FWS about which one they plan on using.

- Option 1: Participants will file FWS Form 3-177 data in ACE using the PGA message set and upload required FWS documents in DIS. This option replaces eDecs for those filing entries under the auspices of this test.  ACE will send the data and electronic documents to FWS for processing.

- Option 2: Participants will file FWS Form 3-177 and required documents directly with FWS, either by filing the applicable eDecs confirmation number in the PGA message set (if FWS clearance was already received via eDecs) or using disclaimer code “D” (data filed through paper) to file in the PGA message set (if FWS clearance was already received via paper). DIS will not be used unless further information is requested by CBP or FWS to substantiate a disclaimer on a case-by-case basis.

- Option 3: Participants will file in the PGA message set using disclaimer code “C” (data filed through other agency means) to indicate that they will follow up with FWS and file in eDecs at a later time. DIS will not be used unless further information is requested by CBP or FWS to substantiate a disclaimer on a case-by-case basis.

- Option 4: When an HTSUS number is flagged as “FW1”, participants will file in the PGA message set using disclaimer code “E” (product does not contain fish or wildlife, including live, dead, parts or products thereof, except as specifically exempted from declaration requirements under 50 CFR Part 14) to disclaim the need to file FWS Form 3-177 and required documents. However, if a commodity contains both FWS-regulated and non-FWS-regulated animal components, disclaimer code “E” should be used in conjunction with one of the above options.

Restrictions. Test participation will initially be restricted to certain FWS ports, and FWS will notify participants of the ports they may use. Initial participation will also exclude entries of live and perishable commodities. Once FWS determines that a participant has fully tested its software for filing entries in ACE it will notify the participant of its eligibility to file for entries of live and perishable commodities.

Participation. To be eligible to apply for this test the applicant must (1) be a self-filing importer or broker with the ability to file ACE entry/cargo release and ACE entry summaries certified for cargo release, (b) file declarations and disclaimers for FWS-regulated commodities, and (c) have an FWS eDecs filer account that contains the CBP filer code when filing under Option 1.

Applications to participate should be submitted via email with the subject heading “Request to Participate in the FWS Test.” A copy should be sent to the applicant’s CBP client representative in the Trade Transformation Office. Applications must include the applicant’s filer code, the commodities the applicant intends to import, and the intended ports of arrival.

Discontinuation. Requests to discontinue participation should be submitted via email with the subject heading “Request to Discontinue Participation in the FWS Test” and should include the desired date of termination. This process ensures that any future entries submitted by an importer that wishes to discontinue participation will not be rejected by the business rules operating in the test due to missing declaration data and accompanying documents. A copy of the request should be sent to the participant’s CBP client representative in the Trade Transformation Office.

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