U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced recently an interim ACE cargo release policy for non-automated container freight station, bonded warehouse and terminal facilities.

CBP has established Nov. 1, 2015, as the date for the mandatory use of ACE cargo release (formerly known as simplified entry) for all electronic entry filings by the trade community. Since ACE cargo release is a paperless program, filers are not required to submit the paper CBP Form 3461, and electronic entry data will only be accepted through the Automated Broker Interface via electronic data interchange. As a result, CBP states that it will not be stamping, perforating or signing courtesy 3461 copies moving forward. ACE cargo release also eliminates the current requirement of presenting a stamped/perforated/signed copy of the paper 3461 to a non-automated CFS, bonded warehouse or terminal facility for the delivery of CBP-released cargo.

To facilitate the transition to a paperless environment, CBP will allow non-automated facilities, on an interim basis, to release cargo based on screen printouts presented to them by filers (importers, brokers, etc.). The printout should have at least the shipment ID and quantity being released, the type of release, and a clear identification of who presented the release information.

CBP states that for audit purposes this will satisfy due diligence on behalf of the non-automated facility. If cargo that is unreleased or on hold is released from a non-automated facility that received a release from the filer, CBP will seek remedy from the party that provided the information. Record retention guidelines will also apply.

CBP emphasizes that this is an interim process and strongly encourages non-automated facilities to automate as functionality to modernize trade processing is delivered in ACE.

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