The mainframe system used by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) since 1986 to process imports and exports is about to end. The Automated Commercial System (“ACS”) has almost fully transitioned to the new Automated Commercial Environment (“ACE”). CBP will require all importers to begin using ACE on November 1, 2015 for all cargo release and entry summary filing. After this deadline, October 1, 2016 is the date set for mandatory ACE reporting of all remaining electronic information. Finally, by Executive Order, December 31, 2016 is the deadline for the “single window” — all federal agencies must begin using ACE for any import/export-related data gathering and transmission for the release of merchandise.
Why should international traders care? Because ACE presents importers and exporters with the ability to have “real-time” access to every minute detail of their cross-border transactions via a “Portal Account.” For those who have not signed up for this free account, NOW is the time. Sign up here: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated/getting-started
Given the impact that trade-related data has on planning, sourcing, compliance, tax liabilities, and a host of other corporate priorities, import and export personnel can now play a much more visible and important role in setting their companies’ global agenda when armed with up-to-date, complete, and reliable trade data.
In addition, the increased “data mining” capabilities presented by the ACE system may lead to an increase in enforcement actions by a variety of government agencies. The potential for such increased scrutiny is another key reason why every company should sign up now for an ACE Portal Account. ACE is the future, and the future is almost here!