Air waybills (AWB) are the counterparts of bills of lading for cargo transported by air. They serve as contracts of carriage, provide evidence to the title of the goods, and detail the carrier’s responsibility to transport cargo to the intended destination. For all air cargo bound for or passing through the United States, the carrier is required to submit air waybill data to the U.S.A. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via the Automated Commercial Environment or ACE system before the cargo is loaded onto the aircraft at a foreign port.
The goal of advance transmission of air cargo eManifest and air waybill data to CBP is for Customs officials to identify potential high-risk shipments very early in the supply chain, while facilitating the transport of legitimate goods.
Other benefits of electronic air waybill data USA advance transmission include:
Faster processing. Sending electronic AWB (e-AWB) through the ACE system can reduce total cycle and cargo clearance processing times. Because AWB data is electronic, CBP and the trading community can send and receive information in advance of the cargo. Standardized formats for reporting also mean more efficient delivery.
Increased productivity. e-AWB eliminates manual data entry, manual validation of paper and system documents and paper document archiving. This frees up employees’ time for more important activities. Employees can also access information in real time to move cargo as scheduled, reducing the waiting time.
Reduced costs. e-AWB minimizes the cost of paper document processing, transport (from freight forwarder to carrier and from warehouse to carrier) and storage.
More accurate air waybill data. Standardized formatting for air eManifest and e-AWB data improves data quality, completeness and consistency. Auto-populated electronic documents further reduce the risk of errors, rework and delays as a result of inaccurate filings.
Improved security. For air carriers and ground handlers, sending electronic air waybill data USA in advance to CBP increases security of cargo through better targeting. Because high-risk goods are identified very early, carriers are informed about special handling procedures and “do not load” notifications.