ACE Will Soon Be Mandatory
Beginning February 28, 2016, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) will be the only way to submit electronic cargo release information.
The system was ready to accept filings on a voluntary basis as of November 1.
Once entry summaries through ACE become mandatory, the old Automated Commercial System (ACS) will be retired and ACE will be the only way to file release information.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection originally expected to launch mandatory ACE filing on November 1, 2015, before pushing the date back to February. CBP encouraged users to submit electronic entry and entry summary filings for several entry types beginning on that original deadline date.
As part of the ACE rollout, CBP worked with 47 Partner Government Agencies—governmental units that require and will be receiving cargo release information through ACE—to ensure their participation. PGA-specific data elements must be submitted through ACE to ensure release. According to an alert from the customs broker Livingston International, “Many of these PGAs have not accepted electronic filing in the past, and many will require additional data fields as part of the ACE program.”
Among the PGAs whose requirements will be mandatory as of February 28, 2016 are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Other PGA requirements will be mandatory as of July 2016. These include the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Defense Contracts Management Agency (DCMA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
Requirements for additional PGAs will go live in following months.
According to Livingston, “Importers and exporters that use electronic data interchange (EDI) may have to provide additional data elements above and beyond what they provide today.”
As part Livingston’s ACE preparations, the company migrated to a new operating system that, besides being ACE-compliant, will help it modernize and simplify its interfaces and further streamline the exchange of information.
“Livingston clients will have better access to reports, better product database management and improved checks and balances to help maintain compliance,” according to the alert. Livingston will “also be rolling out an improved client facing technology solution to make connecting to Livingston’s people and [customers’] trade data easier than ever.”
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