US Customs Filings through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)
Most multinational corporations importing into the US act as the importer of record (IOR) for US Customs purposes. IORs may file import entries and related documents through a licensed Customs Broker, or directly with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)as self-filers.
Whether filing directly with CBP, or through a customs broker, Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is the current system in which to handle the administrative requirements of importing and exporting in the most effortless, efficient and error-free way possible.
The ACE application recently became mandatory as the primary system through which the trade community reports imports and exports and the US government determines admissibility. After many years of work and delays, most CBP filing requirements are now available only in ACE. Through the ACE Single Window, manual processes are streamlined and automated; paper is being eliminated. This transition away from paper based procedures often results in faster, more streamlined processes for both government and traders. The stated goal is to allow the trade community to more easily and efficiently comply with U.S. laws and regulations.
To allow users to electronically file with the US authorities, CBP originally developed the Automated Broker Interface (ABI)as part of its Automated Commercial System (ACS), the predecessor to ACE. ABI was updated to allow users to electronically file required import data with CBP in ACE, with entry summaries transmitted, validated, confirmed, corrected and paid electronically. ABI can also be used to query quotas, visa requirements, manufacturer information and entry/entry summary processing status.
Currently, more than 96 percent of all entries are filed in ACE through ABI, demonstrating the pivotal role it has come to play in the US import business. In some cases, these entries are filed by the IOR themselves directly with CBP. In other cases, the IOR’s broker is managing the interface with the ACE system.
- Filing entry release data electronically for cargo release processing, consolidated entry summaries, consumption entries, bonded TIB entries, FTZ entries and warehouse withdrawals for consumption, selected bypass entry summaries, and drawback claims
- Receiving results of ACE edits and validations during development and testing of entry summary transactions, paperless designations for general exam entry transactions, conditional cargo release results, or priority handling through exam/release processing
- Transmitting US Customs Declarations
- Changing or updating entry dates and selected shipping details
- Utilizing the Single Window with CBP to electronically file Partner Government Agency (PGA) data instead of the former paper processes. CBP manages the border enforcement for over 40 PGA entities.
The versatility of ABI means it offers several key benefits to users:
- By enhancing the speed and efficiency of the customs process, it facilitates the release of the merchandise in question
- Regular administrative messages keep users informed of all current information and issues as and when they arise
- Filers can pay for multiple entries with a single payment transaction through statement processing, while it is also possible to pay customs duties, fees and taxes electronically through the Automated Clearinghouse system
Given the numerous benefits the ABI system can provide; it can be extremely helpful for companies that regularly do business overseas to invest in customs software that is fully compatible with ABI standards in the new ACE environment.
CBP maintains a list of software vendors who have been officially certified to submit transactions to ACE via ABI. MIC is one of these officially accredited vendors, thanks to its United States Customs solution.
With this web-based system, IORs or their brokers can automate the processes for multiple facilities from a single hosted or licensed instance, allowing companies to establish a standardized, organized and defined workflow process that is fully compliant with existing regulations, while also helping them to prepare for future changes.
The MIC tool provides solutions not only for AES for exports and ABI for imports, but also for import/export compliance automation, 10+2/Importer Security Filing (ISF) rules, classification management and foreign trade zone (FTZ) operations. Additionally, it provides free trade agreement management and solicitation tools for programs such as NAFTA, CAFTA, US-Chile, US-Australia, US-Peru, KORUS, AALA and the Buy America Act.
By investing in such a solution, companies can make sure their regulatory requirements are fulfilled, guaranteeing the highest levels of efficiency, compliance and transparency in their international business dealings.