By Melissa Miller Proctor
As we noted previously in this blog, imports and exports of merchandise from the United States have been transitioning from a paper-driven clearance regime to a “single window” electronic system known as the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). Using the “single window,” companies and their agents will be able to submit a single, harmonized set of data electronically into ACE which will be accessed and processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the various Partnering Government Agencies (PGAs). In order to meet the December 31st deadline for U.S. government agency migration to ACE, which was set by President Obama’s Executive Order 13659 (“Streamlining the Import and Export Processes for America’s Businesses”), CBP has been working to phase in ACE implementation over the course of the last year.
As we reported previously, the Census Bureau and CBP transitioned the legacy AESDirect System to the ACE platform in March 2014, and U.S. exporters have been submitting their Electronic Export Information (EEI) filings via the ACE Secure Data Portal for several months. With respect to imports into the United States, CBP has been working to transition its own entry filing processes to ACE, as well as collaborating with the various PGAs on their integration by the December 31st deadline. Many PGAs have already transitioned fully to ACE, while others are still undergoing pilot programs.
This week, CBP announced that it is pushing back its original deadline of October 1st for making the filing of duty deferrals, duty drawback claims, reconciliation entries, collections, statements, liquidation and the automated surety interface fully operable in ACE, as it was deemed necessary to give industry stakeholders more time to transition these operations to ACE. The new deadline for these functions will be October 29, 2016. For more information on ACE and the status of the deployment of CBP and PGA requirements in ACE, see CBP’s website.