U.S. Customs Opens ACE Portal Support Center

WASHINGTON, (July 11, 2005) — A Portal Support Centre has been created by U.S. Customs to address questions regarding the new Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) border release system. The portal will help commercial users answer the functionality for all ACE accounts.

ACE is the new U.S. trade processing system designed to consolidate and automate border processing to significantly enhance border security. The current CBP import system, the Automated Commercial System (ACS), was designed in 1984 and eventually will be replaced by ACE.

The streamlined release systems protocol, mandated by the Trade Act in 2002, involved pre-selected truck carriers to open Truck Carrier Accounts in order to transmit electronic manifest data and obtain release of their cargo, crew, conveyances, and equipment via the ACE Portal or electronic data interchange (EDI) messaging.

ACE also provides national account-based processing and data views as CBP moves away from transaction-by-transaction and paper-based processing.

Initially, the PSC will be staffed by CBP from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm EDT, Monday through Friday, except government holidays. The goal is to fully staff the PSC by the end of July 2005. Once fully staffed, the hours of operation will expand to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday. Voice mail will be available after hours and in the event the staff is assisting others.

The PSC will not replace the existing ACE Help Desk for technical questions. The PSC is for questions concerning ACE functionality such as: “How do I add an additional business view to my account?” and “What report can be run to find the total amount of duties, taxes and fees paid last year?”

In December 2004, the first land border port was transitioned to ACE in Blaine, Washington, and an electronic manifest (e-Manifest) for trucks was introduced. ACE will be rolled out to 91 land border ports.

To contact the ACE Help Desk for technical issues, call (703) 921-6000 or 1-800-927-8729. To contact the Portal Support Center, call (703) 921-6000 or 1 800-927-8729 option 4, option 6, and option 2. Or simply email CBPMO@dhs.gov.

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