CBP outlines ACE deployments for 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced its schedule for 2020 to implement various new trade processing functions in the agency’s umbrella computer system, the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).

On Saturday, CBP deployed two sets of “mass processing” updates to ACE, including enhancements to the mass liquidation functions and post release for imports, and the ability for CBP to “retroactively” process refunds for imports covered under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programs.

In April, the agency will implement enhancements to its ACE truck manifest filing portal. The new user interface for the portal has been available for testing by the industry since Dec. 9, with additional applications expected for testing on Feb. 29.

ACE will see improved facilitation of the foreign trade zone (FTZ) or e214 online admission process and elimination of “older, inefficient processes” in June, the agency said.

In July, CBP plans to roll out a bond usage table, which provides ACE users a “single view” of bonds for each import entry and entry summary number and an “analytical formula for continuous bond sufficiency.”

CBP expects to implement the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) message set in ACE during September that will allow importers and customs brokers to submit FWS-required data directly to CBP to help prevent the illegal import of certain fish, wildlife and plants.

The agency said it plans in September to set up a new ACE surety interface, which “provides additional cargo release and entry summary information in real time to sureties and surety agents via the bond status (BS) message when a predefined event occurs.”

CBP also has on its 2020 ACE deployment schedule, although the dates have not yet been determined, the national broker permit program that will eliminate multiple district permits and waivers for customs brokers.

In addition, CBP this year intends to pursue a program that will allow the trade to manage its own vessel manifest confidentiality requests through an online application process and, pending publication of a final rule, initiate Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA) risk-based bonding, which the agency said will reduce the risk of uncollected antidumping and countervailing duties.

CBP said the 2020 schedule for ACE deployments is “subject to change.”

In its recently released Trade and Travel Report: Fiscal Year 2019, CBP said ACE improvements and import processing simplification generated an economic benefit of about $537 million for the trade and $106 million for the agency during the fiscal year. 

The system also is credited by CBP with reducing overall processing times for the trade by 690,000 hours and about 1.9 million hours for the agency during fiscal year 2019, the report said.