U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently announced a change to the process for blanket flagging underlying entries for reconciliation as part of the Jan. 14 transition of the reconciliation test to the Automated Commercial Environment. CBP said this change will streamline the process, but some importers are disputing that characterization. This article clarifies information about this change reported in a Dec. 16 article in the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report.

Currently, an importer requests that CBP input and apply a blanket flag for specified issues to all underlying entries filed for that importer. Effective Jan. 14, however, CBP is eliminating this option and instead requiring importers (or their customs brokers) to flag each applicable entry themselves as it is transmitted to ACE. This appears to be consistent with CBP’s previous announcement that blanket flagging would no longer be allowed once reconciliation moved to ACE.

Tom Gould, senior director, customs and international trade, for ST&R, said this change will make the process of reconciliation flagging more cumbersome and more prone to errors for importers who used the Automated Commercial System blanket flagging option in the past. For example, Gould noted, if an importer utilizes the services of multiple brokers, each broker will now have to flag each entry it files on behalf of that importer.

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