This alert brings you recent developments affecting importers at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The developments affect how importer information is filed with CBP.

You will be impacted if you electronically submit entry or entry summary data to CBP. Groups most likely to be impacted include importers, brokers, self-filers, or software providers.

Importers will want to work with their customs brokers to ensure that procedures are in place for proper electronic filing of import/entry information. The revised timelines allow for more time for the mandatory transition to the new ACE system (from the older ACS system).

Responding to industry concern, on February 8, 2016, CBP announced an “Updated ACE Transition Guidance” which may be found on CBP’s website by clicking here.

CBP will no longer require use of ACE on February 28, 2016 for electronic entries and entry summaries and certain Partner Government Agency (PGA) information (e.g., for Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Lacey Act data).

Instead the transition timeline will be expanded through 2016. Below is the updated timeline:

February 28, 2016: Beginning February 28, 2016 CBP will start divesting the legacy Automated Commercial System (ACS) by:

  • Offering limited Client Representative and Technology Service Desk support to the trade for ACS entry/entry summary types that are available in ACE.
  • Performing ACS maintenance during peak business hours.
  • Providing processing priority to ACE entries where corresponding ACS entries are still available.

 March 31, 2016: Filers will be required to file in ACE and no longer permitted to file in ACS the following transactions.

  • Electronic entry summaries, associated with the following entry types, with no PGA data:
    • 01 - Consumption
    • 03 - Consumption - Antidumping/Countervailing Duty
    • 11 - Informal
    • 23 - Temporary Importation Bond (TIB)
    • 51 - Defense Contract Administration Service Region (DCASR)
    • 52 - Government - Dutiable
  • Electronic entries and corresponding entry summaries, associated with the entry types above, with data for the following agencies:
  • APHIS for Lacey Act, unless paired with other PGA data
  • NHTSA, unless paired with other PGA data

 May 28, 2016: Filers will be required to file in ACE and no longer permitted to file in ACS the following transactions:

  • Electronic entries, associated with the following entry types, with no PGA:
    • 01 - Consumption
    • 03 - Consumption - Antidumping/Countervailing Duty
    • 11 - Informal
    • 23 - Temporary Importation Bond (TIB)
    • 51 - Defense Contract Administration Service Region (DCASR)
    • 52 - Government ‑ Dutiable
    • Required filing of these entries includes those entries with APHIS Lacey Act and NHTSA data, unless paired with other PGA data.
  • Electronic entries and corresponding entry summaries must be submitted in ACE for the following:
    • Entry type 06 - Consumption ‑ Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)
    • Entry types 01, 03, 11, 23, 51 or 52 with APHIS Lacey Act data, unless paired with other PGA data on the same transaction.
    • NHTSA data on entries/entry summaries, unless paired with other PGA data on the same transactions.

Summer 2016: CBP will further expand entry types to be required to be submitted through ACE to types 2, 7, 12 (except textiles), 21, and 22, and entry summary types 2, 7, 12 (except textiles), 21, 22, 31, 32, 34 and 38.

Under the previous timeline, PGA data would have been required to be filed in July. Under the revised timeline, other agencies will provide functionality for filing electronically in ACE by this summer after various pilot programs have been completed. More information on these PGA filings will be issued by CBP soon. Importers can check for more information here.

Key timeline elements not finalized:

  • FDA: FDA filings will continue to be allowed in ACS (older system) to provide more time for industry to transition to ACE. According to CBP, further information will be provided on the mandatory filing in ACE for FDA data.
  • Other electronic cargo processes: CBP states that further information on the deployment remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process will be provided. CBP also stated that it is still committed to meeting a December 2016 timeline for full implantation of ACE.