The USA single window system in the form of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) aims to facilitate the import and export of goods. A single point of entry for the exchange of electronic information between regulatory agencies and trading participants is simpler, faster and more efficient. For example, carriers, brokers and shippers only need to enter information once instead of multiple times, significantly reducing the risk of errors and duplication.
The single window process is simple: using special software, the shipper or broker submits all information required for shipment once to the single window portal, in this case ACE. Next, ACE sorts the data and routes it to the appropriate department (commonly the CBP). The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) then sends appropriate messages to the sender. Messages tell the sender if the data is incorrect/incomplete or complete and accepted. Messages may also be in the form of permits that can be printed out and archived.
Traditional paper systems for filing of import and export documents tend to be complex, time-consuming and labor-intensive. Traders must submit information to separate agencies in multiple locations. Several copies of the same documents are often required, which can have different entries due to human error. With the USA single window, electronic information is submitted only once. And with web-based applications, import and export data can be submitted anywhere and at any time, reducing processing times.
Supply currently outstrips demand in the logistics industry. This means high costs of moving goods from point A to point B. Carriers and agents incur additional costs when shipments are stalled due to paper-heavy processes and complicated trade regulations. Single window systems reduce processing cost, including the cost of manual labor required for data entry and validation.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Cutting through customs red tape can take a long, long time, leading to delayed shipments and unhappy customers. In a market characterized by low margins and high costs, using SW like ACE helps speed up cargo clearance so that shippers and carriers can deliver merchandise to customers quickly.