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National Customs Automation Program Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Simplified Entry
[November 09, 2011]

National Customs Automation Program Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Simplified Entry

Nov 09, 2011 (Department of Homeland Security Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- SUMMARY: This document announces U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) plan to conduct a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) entry capability. This new capability will include functionality specific to the filing of entry data for formal and informal consumption entries. This functionality will simplify the entry process by allowing participants to submit 12 required and three (3) optional data elements to CBP at any time prior to the arrival of the merchandise on the conveyance transporting the cargo to the United States. This data will fulfill merchandise entry requirements and will allow for earlier release decisions and more certainty for the importer in determining the logistics of cargo delivery. This initial phase of the test will be open to entries filed in the air transportation mode only. This notice invites parties to participate in the test, seeks public comment concerning any aspect of the planned test, describes the eligibility requirements for participation in the test, and outlines the development and evaluation methodology to be used in the test. This notice will be referred to as the Simplified Entry Notice.

DATES: Communication to CBP indicating interest in participation in this planned test is requested within five (5) business days from November 9, 2011. Comments may be submitted to the Web site indicated in the "Addresses" section below at any time throughout the test. The initial phase of the test will begin on or about December 31, 2011 and will run for approximately two years. CBP will begin an evaluation of the initial phase of the test after the test has been ongoing for approximately 90 days for purposes of possible extension or expansion.

ADDRESSES: Comments concerning this notice and indication of interest in participation in Simplified Entry should be submitted via email to For a comment, please indicate " Federal Register Notice" in the subject line of your email.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For policy related questions, contact Steve Hilsen, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, at For technical questions, contact Susan Maskell, Client Representative Branch, ACE Business Office, Office of International Trade, at

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established in Subtitle B of Title VI--Customs Modernization, in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2170, December 8, 1993) (Customs Modernization Act). See 19 U.S.C. 1411. Through NCAP, the initial thrust of customs modernization was on trade compliance and the development of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the planned successor to the Automated Commercial System (ACS). ACE is an automated and electronic system for commercial trade processing which is intended to streamline business processes, facilitate growth in trade, ensure cargo security, and foster participation in global commerce, while ensuring compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and reducing costs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and all of its communities of interest. The ability to meet these objectives depends on successfully modernizing CBP's business functions and the information technology that supports those functions. CBP's modernization efforts are accomplished through phased releases of ACE component functionality designed to replace a specific legacy ACS function. Each release will begin with a test and will end with mandatory compliance with the new ACE feature, thus retiring the legacy ACS function. Each release builds on previous releases and sets the foundation for subsequent releases.

Through the NCAP process, CBP is testing the ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR) capabilities. See the General Notice published August 26, 2008 (73 FR 50337) for more information. These new capabilities include functionality specific to the filing and processing of entry summaries for formal consumption entries and informal entries. These capabilities serve to assist the importer in completion of entry as required by the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1484(a)(1)(B).

In addition, CBP is conducting an NCAP test concerning the transmission of required advance ocean and rail data through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). See the General Notice published October 20, 2010 (75 FR 64737) for more information.

In order to provide the link between the transmission of manifest data and the completion of entry summary functionality, CBP is now initiating a test to automate the merchandise entry and release process required prior to the filing of entry summaries. Most commonly, entry information is submitted to CBP electronically through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) with the submission of the electronic equivalent of the CBP Form 3461 (see 19 U.S.C. 1484(a)(1)(A), 19 CFR 141.61, Subpart D to 19 CFR part 143, 19 CFR 142.3, and 19 CFR 142.4.) Entry may be filed prior to the arrival of merchandise in the United States in line with current filing requirements. CBP also allows entry and entry summary information to be filed with the Importer Security Filing that is required of all cargo arriving by vessel (see 19 CFR 149.6.) In all instances where entry information is filed prior to merchandise arrival, the merchandise is not authorized for release until it has arrived within the port limits with the intent to unlade (see 19 CFR 141.68(e).) The current CBP Form 3461 contains 27 data elements. In an effort to simplify the merchandise release process, allow for more streamlined electronic transmission for the filing broker, stand alone filer, and/or importer, and assist importers in finalizing cargo movement logistics, CBP is announcing this test to reduce the number of data elements required to obtain release of products to 12 for cargo transported by air. The filer may provide three other optional data elements that will be described below. The entry information required by this test will be in lieu of filing of the CBP Form 3461 or its electronic equivalent. The test will involve the transmission and acceptance of the data by CBP and the return of status messages concerning the shipment to the filer.

Authorization for the Test The Customs Modernization provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act provide the Commissioner of CBP with authority to conduct limited test programs or procedures designed to evaluate planned components of the NCAP. This test is authorized pursuant to SEC 101.9(b) of the CBP Regulations (19 CFR 101.9(b)) which provides for the testing of NCAP programs or procedures. See Treasury Decision (T.D.) 95-21.

Implementation of the Test Concerning Simplified Entry In General This document announces CBP's plan to conduct a new test concerning entry filing via a process known as Simplified Entry.

This filing is considered customs business for purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1641. The party filing Simplified Entry Data must have the right to make entry as provided in 19 U.S.C. 1484. Accordingly, only the importer or customs broker acting on the importer's behalf may submit this filing. This will not change as the test is rolled out.

Filing of Simplified Entry Data is in lieu of filing a CBP Form 3461 or its electronic equivalent. It is not in lieu of filing an entry summary as both an entry and entry summary as permitted by 19 CFR 142.19. All entry summaries resulting from Simplified Entry Data release must be made in ACE.

Initial Test Phase Rules For the initial test phase the following rules apply: The initial test is for entries filed in the air transportation mode.

The Simplified Entry filing will only be allowed for Type 01 and Type 11 consumption entries. Participants cannot file an entry summary in lieu of the simplified entry.

No formal entry filed under Simplified Entry can be released under a single transaction bond. A continuous bond must be used.

The filing of entries on split shipments or unassembled or disassembled entities will not be supported in the initial phase of the test.

The port of arrival and the port of entry and unlading must be the same for any Simplified Entry filed.

The manifested bill of lading quantity count and the release bill of lading quantity count covered by the Simplified Entry must match.

Once CBP sends a release message, participants cannot send another simplified entry to replace or amend the one previously filed.

Data Elements To Be Filed In lieu of filing CBP Form 3461 data, the importer or broker acting on behalf of the importer must file the following 12 data elements (to be known as the Simplified Entry Data Set or Simplified Entry Data) with CBP: (1) Importer of Record Number.

(2) Buyer name and address.

(3) Buyer Employer Identification Number (consignee number).

(4) Seller name and address.

(5) Manufacturer/supplier name and address.

(6) HTS 10-digit number.

(7) Country of origin.

(8) Bill of lading/house air waybill number.

(9) Bill of lading issuer code.

(10) Entry number.

(11) Entry type.

(12) Estimated shipment value.

In the air environment in the initial test phase, the entry filer, at his option, may also provide the additional three (3) data elements: (13) Ship to party name and address (optional).

(14) Consolidator name and address (optional).

(15) Container stuffing location (optional).

Data element (1) and data elements (6) through (12) are defined in the same manner as when they are used for entry filing on the CBP Form 3461. Data elements (2) through (5) and (13) through (15) are defined in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 149.3.

--This is a summary of a Federal Register article originally published on the page number listed below-- General notice.

Citation: "76 FR 69755" Federal Register Page Number: "69755" "Notices"

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