U.S. Customs Regulatory Update: ACE Export Manifest

The modernization of U.S. Customs and Border Protection document filing is continuing with the soon to be announced pilot program for the EDI of export manifests. This is a major step towards the multimodal, single window vision that CBP and the trade have been working towards for many years. In January of this year, Census and CBP announced a pilot program for the Advance Export Information (AEI) requesting exporters to participate by submitting a limited set of electronic export information (EEI) in accordance with existing deadlines, followed by the full set of data elements submitted within five days after export. In this pilot, data was submitted through the ACE platform and through the International Trade Data System (ITDS), of which ACE is the key, provided access to the data to participating government agencies (PGAs) in order to reduce redundant filing of data. Within the next few months, we expect to see a Federal Register Notice (FRN) outlining the regulatory changes that will be necessary to mandate such filings. We anticipate that along with this FRN CBP will define what the “approved EDI” is as well as amend the filing deadlines for all modes to a pre-departure filing. At that time, we also expect CBP to announce a pilot program for an EDI of export manifest. Benefits to pilot participants include:

  • Providing your input to CBP for testing and refining of the process

  • Offering your business model for consideration in development and implementation of the program

  • When the EDI export manifest is implemented, participants will be ahead of the curve

How will this affect me – a carrier – and what can I do to prepare? Carriers will need to obtain export manifest information much earlier than they currently do. Start to educate your customers on these new requirements and time frames. Exemption statements that are currently incorporated directly into the carrier’s bill of lading will need to be coded for transmission, for example:

  • “CEN” will be used to identify the AES exemption number

  • “ITN” will be used to identify the ITN number

Begin to collect information on what types of exemptions are currently being associated with your documents, either as printed directly on the B/L forms, provided via clauses, stamps or other means.

How will this affect me – an NVOCC – and what can I do to prepare? The transition to electronic filing of manifest will greatly impact the NVOCC community. Today, there is no regulatory requirement of any kind addressing NVOCC manifest filing.   It has been well understood for some time that the FRN mentioned above will also include the filing of house level export bills, either directly, via an ocean carrier or service center. The required data elements are detailed in the white paper found below.

Just as the carriers must do, the NVOCC community also needs to highlight to their exporters that these data elements will be necessary far earlier than it is today. Sometimes, educating your customers takes the most time, so we recommend that you start now. As we experienced with import manifest filing at the initiation of the “24 hour rule”, many NVOCCs may not want to provide the carrier with their proprietary information revealing their actual shippers and consignees, and therefore, need to have an alternative.

Vilden Associates has already been accepted as a pilot participant and will be compliant as soon as the regulations are made effective. Contact us today and begin your preparation for the new Export Manifest requirements.

Click here for PDF whitepaper on ACE Export Manifest, includes background information and filing details.