Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced plans to use a $30 million congressional appropriation to make a number of enhancements to the Automated Commercial Environment. These enhancements have been selected based on the interests of the trade community and the potential to reduce its burdens, impact on CBP users, nexus to existing and emerging priorities, and workload efficiency and operational improvement opportunities. CBP notes that a development and deployment schedule are forthcoming and that it will engage the trade community through the Trade Support Network to establish workgroups 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. 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 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.

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) 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.

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 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 states that 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.

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 district permit fee and the annual $141.70 permit user fee per local permit for each office location.

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 to take place soon) and should yield noticeable reductions in driver waiting times at border crossing ports of entry.

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, consignee, and notify party phone numbers and email addresses as optional data elements on the manifest for all modes of transportation will help improve and strengthen the targeting of e-commerce shipments.

In addition, importers, consignees, and exporters will be able to electronically manage their requests for confidential treatment of their names and addresses on inward or outward vessel manifests.

Vessel Management

This enhancement will allow for the processing of electronic receipts for vessel entry fees and the addition of an online payment option for vessel agents and owner operators, which will reduce the time necessary to enter and clear vessels of all types.

For more information, please contact Tom Gould at (661) 471-2659.

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