Descartes Enabling Pilot Participation Following the Release of the Federal Register Notices (FRNs)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently published a Federal Register Notice (FRN) to announce the launch of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Air Export Manifest pilot via the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP). The air mode of transport is first in line to begin testing starting on August 10, 2015. As a leader in the field of regulatory compliance through technology, Descartes is helping air carriers and forwarders participate in the ACE Air Export Manifest pilot program.

In order to join the pilot, filers should have processes in place to transmit and receive information via Cargo Interchange Message Procedures (Cargo-IMP), Air Customs Automated Manifest Interface Requirements (Air-CAMIR), Extensible Markup Language (XML) or use a service provider who can enable connectivity. The newer Unified-XML message set, also known as the Multimodal Manifest (MMM), may not be available at the beginning of the pilot although the standard is anticipated to be used as an alternate option for all four modes of transport.

One of the goals of the ACE Air Export Manifest pilot program is to obtain more complete information earlier in the air cargo supply chain. With the current process, commodity and manifest data are often submitted separately, at different times and by a number of supply chain participants.

For example, in a common scenario the U.S. Principal Party of Interest (USPPI), or its authorized agent, files an Electronic Export Information (EEI) transmission with commodity-level and scheduled transportation details, and an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) is generated in return. An air cargo manifest is then separately submitted via CBP Form 7509 and marked with the ITN or other EEI notations/exceptions by airline employees.

A complete manifest might not be filed until days after departure. In the pilot, participating air carriers and forwarders are expected to submit the required information 4 hours prior to loading. The program will determine the feasibility of this timeframe and help participants better assess how the changes will impact business processes and prepare accordingly.

In addition, when fully implemented the ACE Export Manifest program is anticipated to minimize paperwork, reduce manual processes and lower the number of inspections for compliant shipments. Additional goals of the initiative include:

  • Automated notification and release of hold messages
  • Advance validation of the Internal Transaction Number (ITN) that links the manifest and commodity filings
  • Automated close-out of the in-bond transaction with one departure message

Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) will not be testing connectivity to the ACE Air Export Manifest at the onset of the pilot; however, the test may be enhanced to enable PGA connectivity.


Update:  Please note that the ACE Export Manifest pilot programs are open for air, ocean & rail cargo. Descartes is enabling connectivity for our customer base.  Please email [email protected] to participate in the pilot programs with us.


Learn more about ACE Export Manifest

ACE Export Manifest Resource Center

Written by Jos Nuijten

President, Network Integration Strategy