On December 12, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a general notice announcing CBP’s plan to modify the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test regarding reconciliation, and the transition of the test from the Automated Commercial System (ACS) to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The modifications made by the notice eliminate several requirements for participation in the test, impose new data requirements, and establish the requirement that reconciliation entries be filed in ACE beginning January 14, 2017, regardless of whether the underlying entry was filed in ACS or ACE. The other major changes are as follows:

  • CBP is eliminating the requirement that reconciliation entries be filed at specified reconciliation processing ports. Beginning on January 14, 2017, reconciliation entries may be filed in ACE at any CBP port.
  • Except for suspended parties wishing to be reinstated into the test, CBP is removing the requirement that interested importers apply to participate in this test.
  • CBP is streamlining the process for blanket flagging underlying entries for reconciliation. effective January 14, 2017, importers no longer will submit requests asking that CBP apply a blanket flag on their behalf. Instead, importers may input and apply a blanket flag themselves. Importers who use blanket flagging must continue to identify the issue(s) they are flagging.
  • All test participants may request that CBP retroactively flag underlying entries on their behalf. A request may be made by sending an email. The request must be made at least 60 days before the scheduled liquidation date of the underlying entry the importer wishes to have CBP flag retroactively. CBP’s decision to grant or deny such a request is entirely discretionary and solely within CBP’s province. CBP’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.
  • Reconciliation entries filed in ACE will be fully automated and all required data and information must be transmitted electronically on the reconciliation entry. Reconciliation entries must continue to be filed using the Automated Broker Interface (ABI). Paper and compact disc spreadsheets will no longer be accepted as part of the filing of reconciliation entries.
  • Reconciliation entries with no changes to flagged entries must only report the flagged underlying entry numbers (no line item data) and must be filed as an aggregate reconciliation entry, i.e., no entry-by-entry reconciliation entry will be allowed when there are no changes to declare.
  • Reconciliation entries with changes to the flagged entry will no longer have to include original transaction values, or original duties, fees and taxes amounts declared in the flagged entry.
    • Reconciliation entries with changes will only have to report the newly determined transaction value and the newly reconciled duties, fees and taxes.
    • Reconciliation entries claiming preferential tariff treatment pursuant to a free trade agreement post-importation claim must include electronic certifications of the statements and declarations required by regulation.
    • Reconciliation entries reconciling classification issues must provide information indicating the protest, administrative ruling or court action which necessitates reconciling the classification of the underlying flagged entry.
    • Reconciliation entries flagged only for a value change must indicate by checking a checkbox if the value change results in a classification change as well.
  • Reconciliation entry filers must check a checkbox indicating if a prior disclosure has been made on any of the flagged underlying entries. If no prior disclosure was made, the checkbox should not be checked. Additionally, the reconciliation entry line item data must include the line number of the underlying flagged entry being reconciled.
  • The Masterfile Extract and Liquidation Extract Reports that CBP provided upon request, for a fee, will be discontinued in both paper and diskette form as soon as that information is available in an ACE report.

Except to the extent expressly announced or modified by the document, all aspects, rules, terms and conditions announced in previous notices regarding the reconciliation test remain in effect.

The changes made by the notice are effective January 14, 2017.