Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) Resource Center

This resource center includes information regarding the Air Cargo Advance Screening initiative for shipments bound for the U.S. via air. We encourage you to bookmark this page and to check back often for updated information regarding ACAS.

What is ACAS?

ACAS was designed to provide U.S. CBP and other agencies with advanced data on the commodities and parties involved in air cargo prior to loading on an aircraft at a foreign port. 

Why Was ACAS Created?

Identify High-risk Shipments
With better insight into the contents of air freight, potential risks can be identified earlier to improve security
Speed the Movement of Freight
ACAS allows for lower-risk shipments to move more quickly through the clearance process
Improve Accuracy
Valid electronic information and data submission by multiple parties can increase accuracy

Who is required to submit an ACAS filing?

Inbound air carriers are required to file the ACAS data if no other eligible party elects to file. However, CBP allows parties other than the inbound air carrier to file since these other parties often have access to accurate ACAS data sooner. For effective targeting to occur prior to loading, it is essential that the most accurate ACAS data be filed at the earliest point possible in the supply chain. This approach is consistent with the Trade Act of 2002 parameters that require CBP to obtain data from the party most likely to have direct knowledge of the data and to balance the impact on the flow of commerce with the impact on cargo safety and security.

Prior to ACAS, advance information had been provided to CBP via the Air Automated Manifest System (AMS), however not all parties involved in air cargo shipments were AMS filers. The ACAS model enables all forwarders to provide advance house bill information into the ACAS targeting system. Other eligible filers include:

  • Importers or customs brokers as identified by the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) filer code
  • Container Freight Stations (CFSs) as identified by their Facilities Information and Resources Management System (FIRMS) code
  • Express Consignment Carrier Facilities as identified by their FIRMS code
  • Air carriers as identified by their carrier International Air Transport Association (IATA) code

What are the ACAS Data Elements?

How Descartes Can Help?

A long-standing innovator in technology for the air cargo industry, Descartes provides air forwarders and carriers flexible solution options to comply with ACAS while keeping operating costs down.

Descartes’ solution has been built based upon consultative efforts between leading forwarders and carriers importing air cargo shipments into the United States and joint meetings between Descartes, TSA, CBP, forwarders and carriers. The solution complies with ACAS by collecting the required data elements, validating that the data is in the correct format, and transmitting the information to CBP within the required timeframes. Our solution uses the Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (Descartes GLN™) to collect information directly from forwarder and carrier systems to file directly to CBP without manual intervention.

— Tom Belmont, Chief Operating Officer, MNX Global Logistics

"MNX was one of the earliest adopters of the Descartes ACAS solution… Descartes provides us with the technology platform to display innovation leadership, ensure cargo security, and lead the industry in standards for screening and moving high-value shipments around the world."


Additional Resources & Helpful Links

Air Forwarding COVID-19 Action Guide
This guide identifies four areas of potential impact and the steps that forwarders can take now to mitigate disruptions.
On-demand Web Seminar
A Decade in Review and Look Forward: Global Security Filings

Looking to meet with a solution expert?