CBP deploys latest ACE functionality.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it successfully deployed on Saturday its first batch of functionality developed using the Agile software development methodology for the Automated Commercial Environment. The agency was forced to postpone the rollout for a month because of the temporary government shutdown.
ACE is Customs' new enterprise system for processing imports and exports, internal and external communications on trade transactions, and supporting enforcement and security programs. ACE is also the IT backbone for transmitting documentation between trading firms and various government agencies that control imports and exports of certain categories of goods.
CBP has restructured its approach to ACE development to get the program back on track, and this year, it adopted the Agile methodology to speed up development and ensure consistent user input in the process. Deployment A, as its termed, included new enhancements for cargo release in ACE; implementation of the message set to be used by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food Safety and Inspection Service to test information sharing; and new entry summary validations for tariff classifications and harbor maintenance fees.
At the same time, CBP said it also implemented a required software upgrade for ACE reports.
"All capabilities were successfully implemented and are performing as expected," CBP said.
Read more about ACE's recent progress in this month's American Shipper
cover story, "ACE nears the finish line?
OK, now that CBP has learned the hard way how to develop massive IT systems, can they lend some of its experts to Health and Human Services to help with the rollout of the Obamacare website?
CBP expands, renames simplified entry pilot.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday said it is modifying the pilot program for testing the filing of simplified entries
that require fewer data elements necessary to get one's cargo released at a port of entry. The test will now include more capabilities associated with cargo release and is being renamed the ACE Cargo Release Test.
CBP is also expanding the test's coverage and inviting more participants by removing the requirement that filers be members of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program. The test will run for two more years, the agency said in a notice published in the Federal Register
For nearly two years, the simplified entry pilot has been limited to air cargo shipments. Shippers or customs brokers that file the narrower set of data far in advance can get a preliminary green light to pick up the cargo in the United States before takeoff at a foreign airport, which enables them to better coordinate logistics functions to meet customer needs. The pilot program began with nine companies, and eligibility was expanded to importers not in C-TPAT as long as the customs broker doing the filing is a C-TPAT member.
The new capabilities for ACE Cargo Release filing will allow for automated corrections, split shipments, entry on cargo that moves in-bond to another U.S. location, and entry for less-than-containerload quantities.
CBP said it is not yet ready to expand the test to other modes.