Customs entry filing for ACE (Automated Commercial Environment) does not require a license, and any individual importing goods into the U.S. can choose to self-file entries and accounting documentation directly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Keep in mind, however, that CBP regulations are constantly changing and trade laws can be difficult to navigate.
If you plan to import different products into the U.S. or plan to become a high-volume commercial importer/exporter, a knowledgeable partner (customs broker, consultant, IT service provider, such as Global eTrade Services) is essential for successful trading, oversight and compliance optimization.
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Any importer in the U.S. in good standing may file its own entry documentation with CBP. Foreign importers of record (IOR) are restricted from self-filing their own entries, unless the business has a U.S. office with local staff for customs entry filing in ACE and record keeping.
All importers of record are legally allowed to file all entry types with CBP, including hand-carried shipments and shipments transported by truck, rail, ocean and air carriers. The entry filing process, timeframes, and data requirements may vary depending on the mode of transportation.
Your unique business needs will help determine which entries are best handled by a customs broker and which should be direct filed.
Entries can be submitted to CBP anytime before arrival, but CBP responds 5 days before the estimated arrival date. Filers can submit the electronic invoice to CBP via ABI for most entry types, both formal and informal, for processing and release. However, special entry types require paper documents to be submitted to the entry port office.
When an examination is required, the importer of record is responsible for arranging the transport of the merchandise and unloading/loading from the conveyance. Most importers partner with trucking firms in the port of entry to facilitate examination and release. The original bill of lading and payment for freight can be submitted directly to the carrier anytime before cargo release.
Entry Summary Filing
Importers or customs brokers can pay duties, taxes and other fees electronically via ABI (Automated Broker Interface) ACE and the ACH (Automated Clearing House). Daily and monthly duty statements can be processed in ABI via ACH.
Importers must submit an application to CBP’s finance department before the first payment. Processing usually takes 10 days.
ABI is available 24/7 unless the system is down for maintenance. Importers and brokers can query the status of entries direct filed with CBP and other entries, regardless of the filer.
Before filing, it’s important to review your current and long-term business needs and capabilities, including technology, compliance processes and staff training. Importers should also look at their vendor relationships, mode of transportation, types of goods imported/exported, origin of the goods, paperless entries and manual processes. An average-sized business usually has enough resources to direct file entries, but make sure to consider future expansion plans and trade activities.
Many firms choose to partner with a CBP-approved IT provider to reduce expenses and access expertise.
If you plan to use third party connectivity and software, such as Global eTrade Services (GeTS) customs entry filing for ACE software, you are only required to complete limited testing as the service provider has already undergone full testing for compatibility with CBP systems. Normally, this means sending a few electronic invoices to CBP in ABI ACE using the third-party solution.
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) is a CBP-approved provider of comprehensive trade facilitation solutions that help clients simplify customs processing and optimize compliance.
GeTS Automated Broker Interface (ABI)
GeTS ABI allows importers, brokers and authorized agents to submit entry and entry summary information directly to CBP via EDI. Users can query entries and entry summaries, importer bonds, entry releases and antidumping/countervailing duties (AD/CVD). A pre-validation feature ensures data accuracy and completeness, and real-time notifications are sent to the filer via email or SMS. If an error is discovered before duty payment, the filer can correct the error and re-submit the entry summary. GeTS ABI enables filers to conduct audits and make corrections immediately.
Other features of GeTS ABI include bulk filing, templates, report generation, 24/7 assistance on customs compliance issues, secure corporate accounts, multiple plans and connectivity options, and advanced integration. GeTS ABI is available as a standalone web application or integrated (VAN flow) with existing systems. GeTS can also file entry and entry summaries on your behalf; simply email or fax the documents to the GeTS team who will prepare and submit the entry information to CBP. You will receive real-time status notifications by email or SMS.
Visit our Customs Entry Filing for ACE page today to learn more and get your 30-day free trial.