U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued the following guidance on recordkeeping for entries/entry summaries and foreign-trade zone admissions filed in the Automated Commercial Environment.

In the ACE environment, the data required for CBP Form 7501, CBP Form 3461 in the simplified entry (cargo release) process, CBP Form 214 in the foreign-trade zone admission process, and CBP Form 7512 for transportation entries is transmitted electronically in discrete data sets, not in paper form; i.e., the data previously contained in these forms is now transmitted to CBP via ABI. Once transmitted and accepted by CBP, this data is stored by CBP. The filer’s electronic transmission of the data through ABI fulfills the filer’s entry and FTZ admissions obligation for these particular data sets. However, the filer must maintain, as is currently required, the underlying backup or supporting information from which the submitted information is derived.

As a matter of policy, CBP will not request entry and FTZ data previously transmitted to and retained by CBP unless it has a need for such records, in which case the filer may re-transmit or otherwise provide the data electronically or reproduce the entry/entry summary data using an ACE report. Entry data and information previously presented to and retained by CBP is not subject to a recordkeeping penalty for non-production if it is subsequently requested.

Filers must retain all versions of entries, entry summaries and FTZ admissions submitted to CBP to comply with their recordkeeping requirements. All versions are received and processed by CBP, regardless of status. Consequently, all versions submitted to CBP must be retained by the filer. As a policy matter, CBP will not require the production of the non-final version of a data submission unless it is necessary for analytical, statistical, investigative or other purposes.

How a broker/filer provides copies of the transmissions to the importer of record is a business decision between these parties. However, as entry summary information is accessible via the ACE portal, an ACE portal report would be an acceptable format for that purpose. CBP plans on continuously expanding and improving ACE reports functionality to assist filers in responding to records requests.

This guidance is for entries/entry summaries and FTZ admissions filed in ACE. Supporting documentation used to create the data transmitted to CBP must be maintained by the filer and is not covered by this guidance regardless of whether the entry or FTZ admission was filed in ACE or ACS. Moreover, original documents must be retained by the entry filer and produced to CBP upon demand even if a digital copy of the original document was previously transmitted electronically to CBP. This guidance does not apply to or impact in any way the recordkeeping requirements or entry/entry summary production requirements of the Court of International Trade.

For more information on this guidance, please contact Tom Gould at (213) 453-0897.

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