The right Automated Broker Interface (ABI) software is a key component of successful trade and compliance. Importers of record may file entries, entry summaries and other electronic documentation through a licensed customs broker or directly to CBP as self-filers using ABI software in ACE. ABI software supports the filing of entries, entry summaries, and Partner Government Agency (PGA) data. Automated Broker Interface (ABI) software can also be used to query entry/entry summary status, quotas, visa requirements, and manufacturer information.
What is an Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Software?
The Automated Broker Interface (ABI) is the primary system for processing entries and entry summaries, with over 96% of all entries filed through ABI. The ABI provides customs brokers, importers and authorized agents with direct connectivity to CBP and other partner government agencies. ABI not only facilitates cargo clearance and streamlines processing for filers, it also helps track cargo movement and serves as a repository for shipment data.
ABI has many functionalities. Participants can use ABI to transmit, validate, edit and confirm entries and entry summaries, query trade data such as cargo release, entry summary status and visa requirements, process payment for multiple entries with one transaction, and process payment of customs duties, taxes and fees through the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH).
Qualified participants can also validate duties, taxes and fees, communicate with CBP, receive real-time status alerts, receive reports and administrative messages like notices of liquidation, extension and suspension, look up tariff updates, and generate error statistics reports.
Most companies either use an in-house ABI software or ABI software provided by a third party. As ABI continues to evolve and add more functionalities, it is imperative for businesses to use updated software and processes to ensure compliance. Third party software remains popular because of its cost-effectiveness. One example is cloud-based ABI software that eliminates the need for large IT and labor investment. ABI software provided by a CBP-approved third party vendor helps trade participants meet changing ACE requirements and streamline electronic paperwork.
How to Choose the Right ABI Software
Information exchange between ABI users and CBP is done through ACE, CBP’s single window for communication. ABI software connects directly to ACE to speed up the submission of entries and other electronic data. CBP has published a list of approved vendors of ABI software and other IT services.
Before you sign a contract with any IT vendor, we suggest taking a close look at your current capabilities and answering some key questions. Consider the frequency of filing and access to the ABI platform, number of transactions or shipments you handle, number of users in your organization, ABI software features that fit your business, and type of technical support needed. Conducting due diligence and asking the right questions will help you make better informed decisions when choosing an ABI software provider.
For smaller businesses or brokerage firms, in-house ABI software installed on a computer or a web-based application that can be accessed online may be enough. Cloud-based ABI solutions are popular because they allow users to access files and data on any device at any time. Cloud-based ABI software eliminates the need for costly installation and maintenance and gives users more control over their data.
The ABI software features you need depends on the type of shipments you handle. If you handle import/export of plants, produce, animal products, cosmetics, and other regulated goods, your ABI provider must be certified with all PGA submission types. The software vendor must also be certified to submit PGA data for all agencies that share information within ACE. If your company handles reconciliations, drawbacks, exports, eManifests, and in-bond shipments, make sure the ABI software you choose supports these functions.
Customs brokers mainly file entries and entry summaries, but tools like warehouse management can be very helpful if you handle FTZ transactions. Tracking, billing, statement processing and payment support are also great add-ons. The number of transactions and number of users also dictate the type of ABI solution that is worth having.
Technical support and assistance on customs matters should be included in your subscription. You may also need a third party consultant from time to time. ABI vendors provide different levels of support, usually depending on the subscription tier. Choose a vendor that provides multichannel support (phone, email, chat and others), preferably round the clock.
GeTS Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Software
Global eTrade Services (GeTS) is a CBP-approved IT vendor offering advanced, comprehensive Automated Broker Interface (ABI) software for customs brokers, importers and authorized agents. GeTS ABI software allows users to file required import information directly to CBP via ACE to facilitate cargo release.
GeTS ABI software transmits shipment data to Customs authorities via Electronic Data Exchange (EDI), the preferred data transmission method for high-volume filers. GeTS ABI software allows filers to prepare electronic documents, validate and confirm data, and make changes and corrections to entry summaries from a single dashboard.
Besides electronic transmission, GeTS ABI software also features pre-validation to ensure accuracy, querying of AD/CVD, entry summaries, importer bonds and entry releases, and real-time notification alerts for all CBP responses via email and SMS.
GeTS ABI software supports the following functionalities:
- Filing of multiple entry summary types (consumption, quota/visa, consumption AD/CVD, FTZ, informal, warehouse)
- Filing of multiple cargo release types (consumption - free and dutiable, quota/visa, AD/CVD and AD/quota, FTZ, informal - free and dutiable, informal - quota, warehouse, TIB and government dutiable)
- Data retention
- Auto-fill templates
- Offline notifications
- User roles management
- Report generation
GeTS ABI Software Subscription Options
Web-based filing is a convenient way to file entries and entry summaries from any device with an Internet connection. The system highlights mandatory fields to make sure that filers don’t skip required information. Users can easily print out supporting documentation and act quickly on cargo release notifications. CBP notifications and real-time dashboard status reports can be customized to business needs.
For businesses using in-house or third party ERP software, GeTS ABI software integration is recommended. Through integrated VAN flow, filers can submit data and responses seamlessly to customs while reducing time spent online and minimizing errors. GeTS will work with your IT team/department for testing and implementation. This ensures that filers don’t have to rekey the same data across multiple applications.
To learn more, visit our Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Software page or contact us today.
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Contact GeTS today for more information on Automated Broker Interface (ABI)!
GeTS eTrade (Canada) Inc.
North America toll-free
100 York Boulevard Suite 260
Ontario, Canada L4B 1J8
Local North America
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Global eTrade Services, Inc.(U.S.)
North America toll-free
19800 MacArthur Blvd. Suite 300
Irvine, California, U.S.A.
+ 1-877-763-6887, (Sales, Support, Billing)
Local North America
+ 1-905-763-6887 (Sales, Support, Billing)