U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced extension of the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot program through July 26, 2014. In doing so, it has reopened the application period to accept applications from new ACAS pilot participants through December 23, 2013. Carriers and forwarders are encouraged to participate to better understand and shape how the program for enhanced shipment screening will affect the trade and internal processes.

ACAS was designed to provide CBP with more time to analyze security filing data for U.S.-bound air cargo shipments prior to the shipment being loaded on the aircraft. By receiving information about the parties and commodities involved in an inbound air shipment earlier from the forwarder as opposed to the carrier, CBP hopes to be able to better identify high-risk shipments destined for the United States. In addition, the program will speed up the movement of lower-risk shipments and leave more resources to focus on higher-risk shipments for additional screening. 

Applications to participate in the ACAS pilot must be submitted via email to [email protected] before the December 23, 2013 deadline.

Descartes can help your organization participate in the pilot with ease. Our ACAS solution was built based on consultative efforts with leading forwarders and joint meetings with CBP and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The solution complies with the requirements of the ACAS pilot project, which performs security threat threshold targeting using pre-departure air cargo information.

OHL, one of the largest 3PLs in the world, chose Descartes' cloud-based ACAS solution earlier this year to enhance its security operations.

"We've been successfully using Descartes' Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) compliance solutions to manage security filings for shipments into the United States and Canada for a number of years. Working with Descartes to deploy their ACAS solution was a natural extension," said Steve Hutter, Director of Aviation Security at OHL. "The key benefit is that we're able to repurpose our existing air messaging traffic moving via Descartes' Global Logistics Network (GLN) for use within the ACAS solution."

Click here to view the Federal Register Notice describing the ACAS pilot program extension.

Questions about this extension or the ACAS pilot program? Leave a comment below.

Written by Scott Sangster

Vice President, Global Logistics Network at Descartes