ACE is the Automated Commercial Environment – the single-window system through which the U.S. trade community reports import and export of goods. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses the data submitted through this system to determine the admissibility of goods into the U.S.
A recent blog post on the Canadian equivalent of ACE – SWI, the Single Window Initiative – was published earlier this summer. Check it out here, if you haven’t read it yet.
Which transactions need to be done through ACE?
CBP maintains an updated list of the transactions that are supported by – and must be conducted using – ACE, in addition to the anticipated implementation dates for new ACE functions.
What’s the implementation status of ACE?
The number of U.S. Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) now linked electronically through ACE is growing, meaning trade data for goods crossing the border is reaching the necessary government departments seamlessly through a single submission. This has increased accuracy and data flow, while decreasing the work required by importers and exporters.
Prior to ACE, only four PGAs had access to electronic data submitted to CBP. Today, more than 20 PGAs have data interfaces through ACE – including the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and the Drug Enforcement Administration (among others) – with more being added all the time.
A full list of participating PGAs is available on the CBP website.
ACE makes PGAs “smarter”
Because ACE allows for quick and easy information flow, CBP and the other PGAs can more readily identify missing or inaccurate submissions. And because of this, shipments requiring compliance efforts are being targeted at a higher rate. Simply put, the PGAs are getting smarter!
What’s the best way to ensure a trouble-free customs experience?
- Monitor the PGA guidelines and implementation schedule on the CBP website.
- Make sure you know whether your products are regulated by any PGAs, and that you know – and can provide – all the information needed to secure a timely release at the border by all agencies involved.
- PGAs may be getting smarter, but you can too: Importers who have their ducks in a row will also benefit from faster releases and less hassles at the border.
It is now more important than ever to be fully informed before you take your shipment to the border. If you aren’t sure what you need to do, call your customs broker for information or advice.
Information provided by: U.S. Customs Consulting Dept. - Cole International