U.S. Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Resource Center


Updated Information and Key Milestones on the U.S. Single Window to Trade

This resource center includes information regarding the ACE customs and security filing submission modernization and digitization initiative in the U.S. We encourage you to bookmark this page and to check back often for updated information regarding ACE.


What is ACE?

ACE is the United States' commercial trade processing system designed to automate border processing. It is part of an overall multi-year, multi-phase modernization effort that includes process and technology improvements to help improve the collection, sharing and processing of information submitted to CBP and other government agencies. The CBP ACE initiative is being developed as the primary, modernized system through which the U.S. government will track, control and process information related to the import and export of goods, including the filing of U.S. Customs entries.


What is the Goal of ACE?

ACE was created to:

Improve Security
Enhance security through more accurate and timely data transmitted to and from government agencies
Speed the Flow of Goods
Accelerate lower-risk shipments more rapidly through the clearance process
Reduce Manual Processes
Further automate administrative processes and reduce paper-based functions
Connect Government Agencies
Better link Partner Government Agencies (PGA) to share and speed the flow of information
Better Collect Duties & Taxes
More accurate duties can be collected, and drawbacks processed, with better shipment and country of origin data

CBP - Recent Updates


Entry Type 86 for entry of Section 321

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has deployed the new Entry Type 86 for entry of Section 321 low-valued shipments through ACE. This new entry type will improve import safety and security by providing greater visibility into low value shipments.

Trade users will benefit from this enhancement by being able to transmit low-valued shipment data using entry type 86 transaction, including importer and/or consignee information via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and receive electronic release messages from CBP for these low value shipments.

This new entry type will allow one bill per entry and will allow for an entry to be filed with PGA data for a shipment of $800 or less. Customs Brokers and ABI Self Filers are impacted by this change.

Who will benefit from ACE?

When fully deployed, ACE will help Logistics Service Providers (LSPs), CBP, PGAs and US citizens. It is anticipated that:

  • LSPs will potentially be able to move freight at a faster pace and at a lower cost, file U.S. customs entries more effectively and achieve better access to numerous government agencies
  • U.S. citizens may realize enhanced protection from potential security risks and unsafe goods
  • CBP will have better access to information, reduce inter- and intra-agency paperwork and be more able to target and analyze high-risk shipments

How is CBP deploying ACE?

CBP is rolling out ACE incrementally. The agency is continuing to interface with the industry to collaborate with select service providers and their respective customer bases through a series of pilots.

What is the ACE Secure Data Portal?

The ACE Secure Data Portal is CBP’s interactive online tool that provides a single, user-friendly gateway to CBP and PGA information via the web. The portal offers features such as the ability to receive and respond to select forms, upload specified documents and run predefined reports.

Can U.S. Customs entries now be submitted through the ACE Secure Data Portal?

No. In a trade update, CBP has noted that Automated Broker Interface (ABI) will remain as the only approved method available for filing entry and entry summaries in ACE. This means that entries and entry summaries must still be filed through a CBP-approved ABI software vendor, a self-developer or a service center.

The agency has additionally stated that the “ACE Secure Data Portal does not have entry and entry summary filing capabilities, nor are there plans for building such capabilities.”

What about ACE Export Manifest processing?

In regard to export manifest processing within ACE, CBP is announcing the program testing via a series of Federal Register Notices (FRNs). We also encourage you to refer to the Descartes ACE Export Manifest Resource Center for more details.

Descartes' Solutions for ACE

Descartes has developed ACE software solutions to help our customers comply ACE and keep pace with new CBP developments. As the North American leader in cloud-based cargo security and customs declaration filing solutions, we help:

  • Ensure compliance by offering a flexible range of customs entry software solutions for companies at all levels of IT sophistication
  • Improve productivity with advanced EDI capabilities and other electronic communication options to connect to existing systems
  • Reduce entry time and minimize errors through automated workflow processes and a series of targeted validations

Have questions or need more details?

Additional Resources & Helpful Links


Descartes U.S. Declaration Solution
Descartes U.S. Security Filings Solution
Descartes Web Seminar
Hot Topics in Trade Policy: What You Need to Know
CBP's ACE & Automated Systems
CBP's ACE Federal Register Notices (FRNs)
CBP's Priority Trade Issues
A Customs Brokerage logo

— Gabriel Rodriguez, President, A Customs Brokerage


"Our business has grown 25% and we have increased our productivity15% since implementing Descartes OneView. Descartes' unified platform has been an essential component of our operations and regulatory compliance strategies. We also look forward to working with Descartes to meet the upcoming U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest requirements."

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