U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been trying to get the trade community to switch from manual and paper processes for keeping track of trade in favor of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).
With ACE, according to 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.” It is also expected to improve cargo security and speed shipment review and release times.
But the trade community doesn’t seem to be ready for the move that would mean going through an entirely new computer system to file U.S. imports to just a single source rather than multiple government agencies.
“While significant capabilities have been deployed, concerns of stakeholder readiness have necessitated a reassessment of our current timelines,” CBP said the last time it moved out the transition date. “Department-level Deputy Secretaries have collectively decided to allow additional time for testing and transition to ACE for entry and entry summary filing.”
Now, as of Mar. 31 instead of the previous Feb. 28 date, the current Automated Commercial System (ACS) will no longer be available and ACE will be required for certain electronic entry summaries, including those associated with consumption and temporary importation under bond.
By May 28, ACE will be required for more categories, including electronic entries for consumption from foreign trade zones.
By this summer, warehouse and quote/visa consumption entries, among others, will have to be filed with the new system.
For further details on the ACE transition, CBP has a list of mandatory use dates and entry change requirements by category.