After much delay and much ado about switching from the current Customs system for filing U.S. imports, ACE (Automated Commercial Environment), the sole electronic data interchange system for the filings officially took effect Thursday.
Using ACE, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), “manual processes will be streamlined and automated, paper will be eliminated, and the international trade community will be able to more easily and efficiently comply with U.S. laws and regulations.” Cargo security and the shipment review process are also expected to benefit positively.
In a message to filers, CBP said ACE is now the only authorized data interchange system and any filer found not to be filing in ACE will be notified of a cease and desist. Other “enforcement actions” will be taken as necessary if the non-compliance continues.
Anticipating an influx of inquiries and alarm from the general manufacturing public at the time of transition, CBP has a war room in place that will operate daily through Apr. 8 to handle issues related to transactions mandated on ACE as of Mar. 31.
“If you have a technical issue related to the 3/31 mandatory date, you should contact your designated Client Representative,” CBP said in an e-mailed message. “Client Reps will have direct access to the war room and will escalate your issue, if necessary. For non-technical issues related to cargo release, please contact the port of entry.”
The war room will be available for use from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT each day, and client representatives can help you reach it, even escalate your issue as necessary. For any issues that come up outside of war room hours, CBP advises users to call the help desk at (866) 530-4172.
For general additional information, click here. Specific questions should be directed to client representatives, according to CBP. For NHTSA related questions, contact Clint Lindsay, for APHIS related questions, contact Cindy Walters, and other ACE questions can be answered at AskACE@cbp.dhs.gov.