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CBP Details New ACE Functionalities to be Deployed Oct. 5

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has provided in its most recent monthly update on the development of the Automated Commercial Environment additional details on the following new ACE functionalities that are planned for deployment on Oct. 5.

Cargo Release. Cargo release pilot enhancements will 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, automating what has been a manual process; (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 (no in-bond movement will yet be attached to this capability); and (d) processing cargo release entries that include in-bond information and posting appropriate dispositions to the in-bond system.

PGA Message Set. A pilot test integrating a PGA message set (a harmonized set of data that will be collected electronically by CBP and dispersed to appropriate participating government agencies) with entry summary will focus on (a) providing ozone-depleting substances and vehicle and engine data to the Environmental Protection Agency and meat, poultry and egg data to the Food Safety Inspection Service and (b) CBP’s delivery to filers of a single accept/reject message for the entry summary response.

Entry Summary Validations. CBP states that the development of remaining critical system edits or checks that validate the accuracy of data being submitted to CBP is critical to the development of modernized entry summary processing in ACE. CBP will deploy Harbor Maintenance Tax and classification validations for ACE entry summaries as of Oct. 5 and is working on duty calculation validations as well. CBP has developed a business rules engine that enables development teams to more easily capture, update and maintain the business rules that govern how validations work within the system. As development progresses and CBP gains more experience, increasingly complex validations will be added.

Re-engineering AES. The Automated Export System re-engineering effort will incorporate current export processing features in ACE and create a single automated export processing platform for export manifest commodity and export control and licensing transactions. CBP is planning the following phased roll-out of initial AES capabilities: phase I, load historical data; phase II, run re-engineered AES in parallel with legacy ACE and retire mainframe user interface; phase III, migrate CBP users from legacy AES and retire mainframe user interface; and phase IV, migrate trade users from legacy AES and retire mainframe trade interface.

The initial deployment, which has been pushed back to mid-2014, will deliver commodity filing capability to include an Advance Export Information pilot (the filing of a limited data set pre-departure and remaining data elements five days post-departure) and changes to license processes in support of the president’s Export Control Reform Initiative. The re-engineered AES will also include the following enhancements for Census Bureau regulatory changes: post-departure filing times changed from ten to five calendar days from the date of exportation, added ultimate consignee type and license value, and foreign-trade zone identifier increased from five to seven alphanumeric characters.

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