By Eric Kulisch
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is making progress getting more entry summary filings for imports entered in its new Automated Commercial Environment.
The entry summary is the document submitted by an importer or its customs broker after cargo has been accepted into the country that covers the merchandise classification, duty, taxes and fees.
ACE is the new commercial trade processing system that has been under development for more than a decade. It automates the most commonly used Customs forms as well as follow-up communications and responses.
Importers have been able to file the most common electronic entry summaries through the ACE portal for 2.5 years, but CBP traditionally has only received about 1 percent of the documents through ACE. The rest continue to be filed through the legacy Automated Commercial System that CBP eventually plans to shut down.
For the past several months, CBP has received 2 percent of entry summaries in ACE and in November the filing rate in ACE reached 3 percent, Cindy Allen, executive director of the ACE Business Office, said in a Dec. 7 briefing to a federally chartered industry panel that advises Customs.
The increase may be relatively small but still represents a 200 percent improvement from the previous trend, she said.
Allen credited the uptick to the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America publicly throwing its support behind ACE in October and urging members to use the system. She also thanked the American Association of Exporters and Importers and the International Compliance Professionals Association for promoting ACE as a tool to help expedite the import process.
Getting more participants in ACE is a major goal of CBP as it works to transition to a more modern architecture.