Mandatory Use of Automated Commercial Environment Delayed until February 2016
11 September 2015
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have announced that in response to concerns about stakeholder readiness it is pushing back the deadline for mandatory use of the Automated Commercial Environment for all electronic entry and entry summary filings from 1 November 2015 to 28 February 2016. ACE is an electronic system that provides a single, centralised access point to connect CBP, partner government agencies and the trade community. CBP has required use of this system for all electronic import and export manifest filings for all modes (air, rail, ocean and lorry) since 1 May 2015 and is still expected to implement by 31 December 2016 a single window through which the U.S. trade community will report imports and exports and the U.S. government will determine admissibility. The single window is being gradually rolled out by CBP through ACE.
Information released by CBP sets forth the following new schedule for ACE implementation.
1 November 2015 – Beginning of a transition period for electronic entry and entry summary filings in ACE to allow industry and participating government agencies more time to test and provide feedback as they fully transition to the new system. The use of ACE will be allowed and encouraged for electronic entry and corresponding entry summary filings for entry types 01, 03, 11, 51 and 52, with or without PGA data.
28 February 2016 – ACE must be used and the Automated Commercial System will no longer be available for the filing of all electronic entries and associated entry summaries. This includes entry types 01 (consumption), 02 (consumption – quota/visa), 03 (consumption – antidumping/countervailing duty), 06 (consumption – foreign trade zone), 07 (consumption – AD/CV duty and quota/visa combination), 11 (informal), 12 (informal – quota/visa other than textiles), 21 (warehouse), 22 (re-warehouse), 23 (temporary importation bond), 31 (warehouse withdrawal consumption), 32 (warehouse withdrawal – quota), 34 (warehouse withdrawal AD/CV duty), 38 (warehouse withdrawal – AD/CV duty and quota/visa combination), 51 (Defense Contract Administration Service region) and 52 (government – dutiable). In addition, electronic Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Lacey Act) data must be filed in ACE and ACS will no longer be available.
July 2016 (date to be determined) – Upon publication of a final rule by CBP, ACE must be used for filing data for the following agencies: Agricultural Marketing Service, APHIS (core), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Defense Contract Management Agency, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Drug Enforcement Agency Enforcement and Compliance, Environmental Protection Agency, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Fish and Wildlife Service (contingent on FWS having its regulatory revisions in place before the CBP final rule is published), National Marine Fisheries Service and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Hybrid submissions will no longer be allowed.
CBP notes that these changes do not affect the 1 October 2016 deadline for mandatory use of ACE for all remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process. This requirement includes, among other things, protest, reconciliation, NAFTA duty deferral, drawback and liquidation data.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced its intent to pilot test the electronic filing to ACE via the PGA message set of certain information for regulated finished consumer products and three products included on the substantial product hazard list (hand-supported hair dryers, extension cords, and seasonal and decorative lighting products). Requests to participate in this “eFiling alpha pilot” are due by 5 October but only nine participants will be selected.
Although the initial intent of this pilot was to require the electronic filing of certificates of compliance for all regulated imported products, it will instead be limited to the collection of certain targeting and enforcement data using one of two methods: filing the required data elements at the time of entry (PGA message set), or filing only a reference to the data elements stored in a registry (data registry and reference PGA message set). Data will be submitted in one of these two forms as part of an ACE entry or an ACE entry summary if both entry and entry summary are filed together. This data will then be made available to the CPSC for validation, risk assessment and admissibility determinations at entry.
The PGA message set test will evaluate the electronic filing of a minimum of the following five data elements for regulated finished products as well as those data elements that are applicable to the three specified products on the substantial product hazard list: (i) identification of the finished product; (ii) each consumer product safety rule to which the finished product has been certified under 16 CFR part 1110; (iii) the place where the finished product was manufactured, produced or assembled, including the identity and address of the manufacturing party; (iv) the parties on whose testing a certificate under 16 CFR part 1110 depends (name and contact information of the testing entity); and (v) a check box indicating that a required certificate currently exists for the finished product.
The CPSC is including a data registry concept in this test to determine whether it will alleviate stakeholder concerns that having to repeatedly re-enter large amounts of data or lack of access to required data could slow the import process. Instead of filing complete targeting and enforcement data in ACE with each entry, participants may elect to file information into a data registry created and maintained by the CPSC before filing an entry. Once the data is filed in the registry filers will only need to provide a reference, or identifier, to the data using the PGA message set during the entry process.
- North America