Legal Corner March 2015 – Air Imports and CBP change to ACE


Air Imports & CBP: Changes from AMS to ACE
By Carl R. Soller, Esq. McBreen & Kopko

Customs and Border Protection has emphasized that as of May 2015 the current Air Automated Manifest System (AMS) will be eliminated and replaced by functions within the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). As we have urged for months, a hands on analysis by carriers and air forwarders prior to full implementation will help prevent system flaws. Too frequently system developments by Government agencies occur without proper industry and trade input. Don’t allow that to happen.

Carriers, filers, and software developers of e-manifests for imports must integrate procedures. Validation changes will impact submitted elements including “consignee validated country codes”; “weight values must be numeric and greater than zero”; and “bonds must be valid and on file.”

On Nov. 1, 2015 in addition to mandatory ACE filing of manifests there will be the implementation of ACE for all “electronic cargo release and related entry summary filing” and one year later mandatory use of ACE for “all remaining electronic portions of CBP cargo process” will be implemented.

There are substantial changes made when Air Manifest processing is transitioned to ACE. Although somewhat complex to us neophytes not involved in the day-to-day processing of air imports, the pros will understand the consequences of the following changes (some, not all, are below):

  • Bill of lading (BOL) status notifications relating to GO eligibility and status
  • Cargo location will be ascertained from various mandated Port identification
  • Master In-Bond Transfer detail deleted and ACE will not equate House In-Bond origination Port to Master In-Bond Port of unlading
  • Origination of split shipments will be identified so changes to split house bills will be allowed
  • No master BOL reconciliation when sent to a “non-automated facility”
  • Many changes to Error Code transmissions
  • For those of us who don’t grasp the consequences of the changes noted we urge the air commerce “technical community” to quickly assimilate these proposed requirements and ensure that each necessary partner in the supply chain understands the down line impact on each other. This is essential in order to avoid chaos and similar problems that existed under AMS.

Carl R. Soller, Special Customs, International Cargo and Regulatory Compliance Counsel to McBreen & Kopko is counsel to the JFK Airport Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association and a recognized expert in his practice areas. He and his firm concentrate their Air Cargo Practice in all business and regulatory matters on a nationwide basis. He offers advice on supply chain security and its related Government Regulations to the Air Cargo Community as well as advice and a vast range of assistance to importers and exporters of all kinds of consumer goods.  He can be reached at (646) 502-5791 or cs*****@mk******.com