Update on automated commercial environment/ international trade data system (itds)

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Current Status

ACE continues to be among the agency’s top business priorities. On June 4, we deployed new functionality of interest to the trade community in the form of enhancements to the Post-Summary Correction (PSC) function. Now, in addition to the ability to eliminate paper corrections for summaries filed in ACE, a streamlined acceptance process and a uniform process for submitting correction, PSC functionality includes:

    • PSC line item numbering structure (to better align the design of PSC with the numbering structure used by the trade);

    • Entry Summary Query, Census Warnings Query and Entry Summary Reports (modified data queries and reports to support PSC functionality); and

    • Ensure the entry summary is in “collected” status before accepting a PSC (to prevent accepting PSCs before the revenue due has been collected, minimizing financial risks to CBP and the original filer).

Also, on April 16, we deployed additional Importer Security Filing (ISF) capability. ISF, commonly known as the “10 + 2” initiative, is a CBP regulation that requires importers and vessel operating carriers to provide additional advance trade data to CBP pursuant to the SAFE Port Act of 2006 for non-bulk cargo shipments arriving into the U.S. by vessel. The new capability allows infrequent importers to file an ISF (limited to 2 per day and 12 per year) and gives importers access to their ISF progress reports.

Status of our other ACE projects in development:

Rail & Sea Manifest (M1)

  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) concluded successfully on 5/23/11

    • Participation from more than 190 field users at more than 100 ports

  • Trade Testing Success Criteria met on July 1, 2011

    • Six trade participants have met the trade test completion criteria and are “certified” for ACE M1

  • The M1 schedule is on track

    • Production Readiness Review (PRR) during August 2011 and the start of the M1 pilot period

    • Full deployment scheduled for Winter 2012

International Trade Data System (ITDS) Initiatives

  • Through ITDS, ACE will become the “single window” for the trade community to submit data required by all Federal agencies for the clearance of cargo. Specific projects we’re working on now include:

  • PGA Interfaces/Interoperability – the overall identification and then construction of the interfaces and protocols through which the PGAs and CBP will communicate and share information related to cargo imports.

      • An interoperability plan is being developed by CBP and various PGAs.

      • At least two PGAs are on track to conduct interoperability tests this summer.

      • The first web service capability is scheduled to become available in August 2011.

  • PGA Message Set – the single, harmonized set of information that will be collected electronically from international traders by CBP on behalf of the PGAs, thereby allowing CBP and the PGAs to make decisions about what cargo can come into the U.S. without the myriad of paper forms currently required.

      • The set of data elements that make up the PGA Message Set was approved by the chair of the ITDS Board of Directors on May 19, 2011.

      • On June 3, CBP published the “implementation guides” for the PGA Message Set on cbp.gov so that international traders and PGAs can begin the process of readying themselves to utilize this new capability.

      • CBP will build the technology that will support the collection of this PGA Message Set by October 2011.

  • Document Image System (DIS) – will allow trade members to supply documentation needed during the cargo release process to Federal agencies electronically.

      • CBP created a link in the ACE Portal to allow CBP and the PGAs to access DIS for imaged forms in March 2011.

      • CBP plans to use “Web services” technology to push these imaged forms and corresponding “meta data” to PGAs by August 2011. Discussions with PGAs continue to determine which agencies will be ready for testing this functionality.

Cargo Release

    • The development of the Cargo Release requirements will focus on the admissibility of imported articles and their release into the commerce of the United States in coordination with PGAs and the trade community.

    • CBP has completed the Concept of Operations and Operational Requirements Document, two key management and requirements documents that capture the purpose and desired functionality of Cargo Release. Assuming adequate funding is available, the design and acquisition phase for Cargo Release will begin with an anticipated contract award in early 2012.

Status on ACE and Export Processing
CBP would like to establish ACE as the single processing platform for all export manifest, commodity, licensing, and export control transactions in keeping with the President’s National Export Initiative and the Export Control Reform Initiative. The current AES system is not based in or interfaced with ACE and therefore the export community and other government agencies are not benefiting from the ACE single window functionality that exist or are being delivered in the near future for importers. Trade users must maintain separate transactional communication protocols for exportation reporting.
CBP’s Automated Export System (AES) does not support automated pre-filed export manifests and is therefore using paper manifests. The lack of an automated export manifest system is causing increased costs for CBP, the exporter, carriers, terminal operators, freight forwarders and others in the export community, and impacting the enforcement of export laws and regulations by CBP and other government agencies. CBP is proposing to establish a single export processing platform within ACE to interface with the Census AES system and the various operating systems maintained by PGAs with export transaction authority, including issuing, monitoring, and decrementing licenses, permits, and certificates for export shipments.
On March 11, 2011, the President’s Export Council sent a letter to President Obama concerning the need to establish an automated single shipment information window for imports and exports that aligns with international data standards. The Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Treasury and other U.S. agencies have been working together to ensure this priority moves forward in a timely manner.
CBP has established a cross-functional requirements team to examine where current functionality can join with the export process to achieve the intent of the NEI and Export Control Task Force. This requirements team will include representatives from CBP, the ITDS Board of Directors, and the Trade.

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