Washington, DC — Starting January 25, 2007, truck carriers entering the United States through all ports of entry in the states of Washington and Arizona and through the ports of Pembina, Neche, Walhalla, Maida, Hannah, Sarles and Hansboro in North Dakota will be required to file electronic manifests through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced.
ACE is the next generation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection technology designed to protect the United States from terrorism and facilitate border crossings.
The announcement was made today in the Federal Register. Eventually, all land border ports will be required to transmit advance electronic truck cargo information through ACE. Before requiring it at the ports not covered by todays notice, CBP will provide 90 days notice through the Federal Register.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance expects the 90 day notice periods will be followed by an as yet undetermined period of informed compliance. Once that period expires, monetary penalties for non-compliance will kick in and eventually trucks will not be able to enter the US without ACE.
CTA and the provincial trucking associations have been working directly with carriers, CBP and US customs brokers to resolve technical issues in order to make e-manifest functional. This has been a difficult and long process, but much has been accomplished. CTA is now of the view that there should be no further delays to making ACE mandatory, unless unresolved systems issues are identified by carriers during the 90-day phase-in periods, said CTA CEO David Bradley. Many fleets have made the necessary investments over the past two years and want to see some payback. Those carriers that have not taken steps to prepare themselves are obviously going to be up against it, but everyone should have known that ACE was coming.
The requirement to submit advance electronic cargo information is mandated by U.S. law in the Trade Act of 2002. To comply with this requirement, truck carriers have the following options to transmit e-manifests:
– Self file through the web-based ACE secure data portal or via a CBP approved electronic data interchange (EDI), or – Use third parties, who usually require a fee.
ACE, if it functions properly, is the direction to go, says Bradley. The more that can be done to automate the border and eliminate paper from the system the better. Under ACE, LTL carriers should also see quicker border crossings. They will be able to clear all their shipments at primary a huge advantage compared to the previous system which generally limited this to five shipments.
To begin filing e-manifests with CBP, carriers are encouraged to establish an ACE carrier account or obtain certification to file via EDI, or contact a customs broker, service provider, or other authorized filer to discuss how to submit e-manifests.
ACE will be phased in at the remaining groups of US ports 90 days after publication of a notice in the Federal Register for each group:
Group 1: All ports of entry in the states of Michigan, Texas, California, New Mexico and New York Group 2: All ports of entry in the states of Vermont and Alaska Group 3: All ports of entry in the states of Maine, Idaho, and Montana Group 4: All remaining ports of entry in the state of North Dakota Group 5: All ports of entry in the state of Minnesota
For information regarding ACE, please e-mail CBP at email@example.com or visit the CBP Modernization Web site at www.cbp.gov/modernization/.
The e-manifest capability is available at all ports where ACE is deployed.
CTA is recommending that carriers inform their customers to choose their customs brokers wisely in order to avoid significant border delays and related costs.
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