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New Deadlines for ACE Conversion Extended. Time to Prepare for New Data Requirements.

Effective February 28, 2016, all entries must be filed in ACE for release and entry summary. In addition, any entries that include Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), or Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Lacey Act declarations must be filed in ACE. Data for eleven additional partner government agencies (PGAs) must be submitted to ACE by July 2016.

While CBP pushed back the mandatory date from November 1, 2015, it reminded the trade community that it cannot slow down its preparations to meet the new deadline. CBP reports that nationwide, in September, 66.8 percent of entry summaries and 8.3 percent of releases were filed through ACE. By comparison Schenker filed approximately 98 percent of entry summaries and over 50 percent of releases in ACE. The entries not filed in ACE by Schenker primarily involve transactions that CBP is not yet ready to accept.

The government has invested heavily to modernize its systems and alter its business processes. In turn, software vendors, brokers, and importers have responded to make system programming changes, understand process changes, and train staff. The conversion process has had its challenges as CBP works out programming bugs, trains thousands of employees, and partners with other government agencies to aid them in their own conversions.

ACE will be the single window through which 47 other government agencies involved in the importing and exporting process will receive data about cargo. Fourteen of these agencies will collect data on import shipments through the customs entry transmission. For most of these agencies, it involves a major shift in the way it conducts business. Legacy processes will be eliminated. Data collection will become more automated, making it possible for these agencies to request additional data to be supplied at time of entry. The agency forms are not eliminated, but the means of collecting the data on them is changing. Thus, the importers and brokers must have the forms on file and available for government audit.

For many of the agencies the importer previously worked directly with the agencies to process paper forms, and for other agencies the broker facilitated the submission of the forms. The new electronic data transmissions require more data to be input into the broker’s system. Schenker is preparing for the implementation of filing entries with PGA data, working closely with its software vendor, and beginning outreach efforts to clients involved with products regulated by the other agencies. If your products are regulated by other government agencies, we will be working with you to convert to the electronic transmissions. We will be providing supplemental data forms to collect information that is not available on agency forms. This may mean you will need to provide additional details that were not previously required. Rest assured that we will work closely with you as we partner to navigate the new processes and data requirements.

If you have any questions about how these developments impact your customs entries and processes, please contact your local Schenker brokerage office.

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