U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently posted on its website the following updated schedule for deployment of additional functionality within the Automated Commercial Environment.

Centers of Excellence. As of March 16 CBP will create unique identifiers for each of its ten Centers of Excellence and Expertise that will be designated on the center member’s ACE account, added to all the member’s post-release activity, and incorporated into CBP’s post-release workflow. CBP has said this identifier will allow it to streamline processing for the centers and provide a means for managing workload at the account level. In addition, traders will gain visibility into their center assignment and be in a position to submit documents to the appropriate center.

Importer ID Form. On March 16 CBP will automate and modernize CBP Form 5106, which collects data used for establishing bond coverage, release and entry of goods, liquidation, and the issuance of bills and refunds. CBP has said automating and updating the data elements captured in ACE for this form will (a) enable the collection of more detailed importer information to support more advanced risk analysis, (b) provide for more informative risk assessments prior to importation, (c) further improve revenue functions, and (d) provide for more streamlined processing for importers, brokers, sureties, and others through the ability to create, edit, and update importer information. Click here for more information.

GSP. A March 16 enhancement will address mandatory updates related to the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences and allow quicker payment of retroactive refunds when GSP expires and is later reinstated.

Section 321 Shipments. Under section 321 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, the maximum value of goods that can be imported free of duty and tax by one person on one day (the so-called de minimis value) was increased from $200 to $800. CBP currently clears such goods off the manifest but plans to automate data collection on these shipments in August 2019, which would create an additional pathway to clearance via development of an entry type 86 for ABI submission. This change is expected to give CBP greater visibility into low-value shipments, provide partner government agencies with required data on such shipments, and allow filers to transmit transaction data (e.g., manufacturer, importer, and consignee information) via ABI and receive electronic release messages from CBP for such shipments.

FTZs. The current process provides an electronic document to request the entry of cargo into a foreign-trade zone and electronic messaging when a cargo exam is required and goods have been authorized for a permit to transfer into an FTZ. The e214 redesign, which has been pushed back from June to September 2019, will enable the submission of PGA data simultaneously with the e214 via the PGA message set or the document image system when reporting FTZ admissions.

Broker Permits. In line with a forthcoming proposed rule that will update the customs broker regulations in 19 CFR 111, CBP is planning an August 2020 ACE enhancement to transition all brokers to a single national permit and eliminate multiple district permits and waivers. Brokers will be able to conduct entry via remote location filing at any port nationwide and will no longer have to pay the initial $100 district permit fee and the annual $141.70 permit user fee per local permit for each office location.

Removal. CBP has removed from the deployment schedule an enhancement that would add shipper, consignee, and notify party phone numbers and email addresses as optional data elements on the manifest for all modes of transportation, which CBP had said would help improve and strengthen the targeting of e-commerce shipments. A new deployment date for this functionality will be announced later.

ACE functionality, including data reports, can help importers and others boost compliance and duty savings efforts. For more information, please contact Tom Gould at (661) 471-2659.

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