Descartes Encourages Participation in Programs such as ACE Cargo Release and the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Pilots

The industry has kept a close watch on the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) single window initiative as it approached key deadlines. As a result of suggestions and feedback from the trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has recently pushed back the timeframe for mandatory Entry and Entry Summary filing in ACE from November 1, 2015 to February 28, 2016.

Please note that the CBP ACE deadline update does not impact the December 1, 2016 target for the full implementation of the single window. An updated development and deployment schedule has also been released that further defines the mandatory dates and anticipated functionality release packages.

November 1, 2015 now marks the beginning of a transition period and presents an opportunity for filers to submit select types of entries and entry summaries with or without Partner Government Agency (PGA) data. This expanded time window will also provide further time for the industry and PGAs to test and offer feedback as the trade fully transitions to ACE.

On February 28, 2016, much of the legacy Entry and Entry Summary Automated Commercial System (ACS) processes will be decommissioned although some post-entry functionality will remain in ACS. Electronic submission of Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Lacey data will be required to be filed in ACE at that time. Pending an additional announcement from CBP, it is anticipated that additional PGA connectivity will be enabled in July of 2016.

Descartes has been a leading participant in the ACE initiative, engaging in multiple trade groups and pilot programs as connectivity is enabled. We encourage the trade to participate in programs such as Cargo Release and the PGA pilots as we approach CBP ACE deadlines to minimize the potential impact on business processes and to facilitate regulatory compliance.

Although some ACE functionality will remain voluntary until the above milestones are passed, it is vital to establish a clear path for compliance with enforcement on the horizon. Businesses should institute procedures to avoid delays and potential penalties when they are enacted.

As the North American leader in customs filing solutions, Descartes is continuing to develop functionality in parallel to CBP ACE updates and releases. Since customers have different requirements, we offer a number of solutions to enable compliance. Please contact us to discuss your needs in more detail.

We also encourage you to visit the ACE Resource Center.

Written by Fany Flores-Pastor

Director, R&D Compliance Systems at Descartes