Enhancements to the Automated Commercial Environment for de minimis shipments, the importer ID form, foreign-trade zone entries, Centers of Excellence and Expertise, and customs broker national permits are among those that U.S. Customs and Border Protection anticipates making in fiscal year 2018 thanks to a congressional appropriation of $30 million. CBP states that a development and deployment schedule will be released later and that it will engage the trade community to refine trade-facing technical requirements and implementation plans.

Section 321 Entries. 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 as of February 2016. CBP currently clears such goods off the manifest but is working to automate data collection on these shipments, which would create an additional pathway to clearance via development of an entry type 86 for ABI submission. This filing option will be optional for all filers but required for entries with partner government agency data.

Importer ID Input Record. CBP Form 5106 collects data used to establish bond coverage, release and entry of goods, liquidation, and the issuance of bills and refunds. CBP states that 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) further improve revenue functions, and (c) provide for more streamlined processing for importers, brokers, sureties, and others through the ability to create, edit, and update importer information.

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 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.

CEEs. CBP will create unique identifiers for its ten Centers of Excellence and Expertise that will be added to all post-release workflow in ACE. CBP states that designating the CEE code in entry summary, reconciliation, and protest transaction submissions will aid the transition to account-based processing.

Broker National Permits. In line with a forthcoming proposed rule that will update the customs broker regulations in 19 CFR 111, ACE will be enhanced 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 permit fee and the annual $141.70 permit user fee per local permit.

Truck Processing. CBP will deploy drive-through multi-energy portal imaging systems to the Laredo World Trade Bridge and the Brownsville Veterans Bridge and allow non-intrusive inspections, which currently occur at secondary, to take place in pre-primary. CBP states that these capabilities are essential components of the cargo “model port” project for which initial pilots are slated this summer.

GSP. This 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.

Manifest. CBP states that collecting shipper phone numbers as an optional data element on the manifest will help improve and strengthen the targeting of e-commerce shipments.

Vessel Management. This enhancement will allow for electronic receipts for vessel entry fees and the addition of an online payment option for vessel agents and owner operators.

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