Informed vs. Enforced Compliance
ACE will reduce the amount of paperwork needed to import into the United States.
The new automated commercial environment (ACE) system for processing documentation will allow CBP to more accurately monitor imports and help identify mistakes and inconsistencies among imports.
What is ACE?
The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is the updated system that CBP now uses to process documentation. It is a single window interface that all imports and exports are processed through and is a dramatic improvement from the previous system. ACE eliminates all the old manual processes and the use of paper for a new, streamlined and automated process. It allows the international trade community to more easily and efficiently comply with U.S. laws and regulations.
Informed compliance is the shared responsibility between CBP and importers. CBP gives out information and informs importers about the requirements of international trade. Then, importers are expected to exercise reasonable care in their importing operations. In this case, a considerably large burden is placed on the importer, they are expected to understand all CBP regulations about imports and documentation.
The Current State of ACE
After 18 years, ACE is nearing full deployment. For CBP purposes ACE is fully operational. Partnering Government Agencies (PGA’s) are currently completing their programming to fit their needs. Soon, the International Trade Data System (ITDS) will become the ‘single window’ that all international trade data passes through.
How ACE Affects Importers
With this new computing power, CBP will be able to identify more mistakes and inconsistencies. For example, they now will be able to cross-examine imports across entire industries or all imports from a specific supplier. Because of this, we will begin to see more exams and requests for additional information including emails, phone calls, requests for information (CF-28), and notices of action (CF-29).
It is important to stay up to date with the continually changing regulations of international trade. The possibility of a claim on your Customs Bond is only increasing with the advancement of technology.