U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Sept. 12 the completion of its first test of interoperability, or the ability of different software systems to work with each other, as part of its ongoing efforts to lay the foundation for the next generation of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE 2.0). CBP has previously said development of ACE 2.0 could begin as early as 2025.
According to CBP, ACE 2.0 will not be a refresh of ACE or a set of incremental changes but instead is intended to be a new system based on a rethinking of how current and future technologies can be used to meet the agency’s mission most effectively. ACE 2.0 will ensure that CBP has the technology to implement the reimagined trade processes developed as part of the 21st Century Customs Framework. Among other things, the new system will allow CBP and its partner government agencies to receive better quality data much earlier in the supply chain, often in near-real time from traditional as well as non-traditional actors, which will facilitate faster government responses with earlier determinations on cargo.
Toward this end, CBP has been working for several years on ensuring the interoperability of ACE 2.0, which means the system will work with a variety of technologies so it can communicate with legacy and future systems, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology. CBP states that it recently completed a test focused on pipeline oil and steel supply chains that involved some of the largest companies in both industries. CBP previously said this test would include (1) a steel project that tracks steel from manufacturer to import, assists with origin compliance under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and improves product identification, and (2) a pipeline oil project that affirms free trade status no matter how many times oil is sold on the open market.
According to CBP, the test removed the need for paper documents and allowed for the real-time exchange of data. It also included data exchanges from both traditional and non-traditional supply chain actors, allowing CBP for the first time to combine modernized data that includes information on shipments prior to arrival with data that already exists in ACE.
CBP plans additional interoperability testing in 2024 in the areas of e-commerce, natural gas, and food safety. In the first international test, participating countries with mutual recognition agreements will exchange the newly authored global CTPAT/authorized economic operator credential, which will allow private industry to request benefits from countries without having to apply separately for each country. The second international test will explore how countries will exchange billing data to verify that goods have been exported.
For more information on these developments or ACE 2.0, please contact attorney Lenny Feldman at (305) 894-1011 or via email.
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