The border crossing ACE eManifest requirement has been mandatory for carriers in all modes of transport since May 2015. Highway, rail, marine and air carriers must transmit electronic cargo and conveyance data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) before the shipment arrives in the U.S.
CBP started retiring the legacy Automated Commercial System (ACS) in February 2016. When fully implemented, ACE will become the Single Window for all transactions involving the trade community and U.S. government agencies.
What is a Border Crossing eManifest?
A border crossing manifest or border connect eManifest is a document showing the details of each trip, including cargo, conveyance (truck, trailer, container, vessel), crew and passengers. An electronic manifest (eManifest) is a digital version of a paper manifest. The ACE eManifest is a key component of the U.S. government and CBP’s ACE initiative that aims to modernize border connect eManifest and trade processing and enhance border security. ACE is the U.S. counterpart of Canada’s Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program, but the two are distinct from each other.
ACE eManifest ensures that details of shipments bound for or transiting the U.S. are known to customs officials long before the goods arrive at the border or the first port of entry. The submission timeframe depends on the mode of transport. For highway carriers, eManifest data must be received and validated by CBP one hour before arrival at the border (non-FAST carriers) or 30 minutes before arrival (FAST carriers)
Border Crossing eManifest Participants
ACE eManifest is mandatory for all carriers or authorized agents crossing U.S. land borders, whether to deliver goods to the ultimate consignee/buyer in the U.S. or to move goods to a location outside the U.S. Carriers or their authorized agents are required to prepare and submit eManifests to CBP for every cross-border trip. eManifest preparation and filing can be done online free of charge through the ACE Secure Data Portal. Carriers can also transmit required import information to customs using self-developed ACE software, software purchased from a third-party, or service provided by a CBP-approved IT software as a service provider.
Noncompliance and Penalties
CBP has given the trade community time to prepare for the transition from the legacy system to the new ACE Single Window. ACE eManifest requirements are mandatory for all modes of transport, and noncompliance may lead to heavy monetary penalties (multiple violations means heavier fines), as well as delays at the border and even denial of entry. Deliveries can also be delayed, resulting in customer dissatisfaction. Noncompliance affects every participant in the supply chain, so it is absolutely critical to submit accurate, completely and timely shipment data to customs.
Border Crossing eManifest Transmission Setup for ACE
Before submitting eManifests and other shipment data to CBP, carriers need to apply for an American SCAC or Standard Carrier Alpha Code. The type of SCAC code to apply for depends on the movement of goods. Most carriers transport commercial goods into and out of the U.S. You can apply for an SCAC by completing an online form at the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) website or contacting them directly. Processing usually takes a few days.
Once you have your SCAC, you can register your business on the CBP website as an ACE participant. Highway carriers can create an ACE Secure Data Portal account to be able to enter data manually and file eManifests online free of charge. During registration, the Trade Account Owner (TAO) must be designated. The TAO is the person who will manage daily operations in the portal and supervise users. The TAO can create multiple user accounts for employees and business partners. User accounts can file eManifest data and run reports. For high-volume clients or for clients that are looking for additional value-added features and services, EDI transmission using ACE eManifest filing software is recommended.
eManifests for air, marine and rail modes of transport cannot be filed in the ACE Portal; data transmission must be done via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
ACE Highway eManifest Process
After submitting the eManifest, the system will send a notification to your computer or mobile device. An “accepted” status message means that the truck driver can cross the border one hour later (non-FAST carriers) or 30 minutes later (FAST carriers). If the eManifest filing is declined, the system will tell you what needs to be corrected. You must resubmit the amended eManifest and wait for the “accepted” status message before heading to the border.
At the border, drivers must present the ACE cover or lead sheet to the customs officer. The officer will retrieve the eManifest information and match it with the customs broker entry submission. If everything is in order, you are ready to go. Otherwise, you may need to go to secondary processing to present additional documents for validation and for examination of the truck and shipment.
ACE Portal vs. Dedicated ACE eManifest Software
The ACE Secure Data Portal is mainly a tool for managing ACE accounts and generating reports. What the ACE Portal does NOT support is bulk eManifest filing, entry and entry summary filing, or Partner Government Agency (PGA) data filing. eManifest filing via the ACE Portal is done manually one at a time. Most high-volume filers and large businesses need a dedicated bulk-filing solution to streamline processing and expedite cargo release. Dedicated ACE eManifest software developed by the company or purchased from a third-party is a great way to meet the needs of enterprises.
GeTS ACE eManifest Border Crossing Solutions
CrimsonLogic Global eTrade Services (GeTS) ACE eManifest solutions for highway, air and ocean use advanced technology to streamline and facilitate customs processing. The ACE eManifest software is powerful and easy to use, enabling high-volume eManifest filing via the online application or integration with in-house Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other systems. The web-based filing option cuts down time spent on manual data entry with CSV upload and templates features for commonly used data. Profiles are can also be entered once and saved in the system.
GeTS can also file ACE eManifests on your behalf via fax or email processing. Notifications from CBP will be sent to you via phone, email or SMS. CrimsonLogic GeTS was the first to market with the revolutionary Fax2EDI service that kept carriers on the road and freed them from time-consuming paperwork. GeTS processes thousands of e-Manifests monthly for clients in all modes of transport.
GeTS border crossing eManifest solutions are designed to make the eManifest filing process as simple and fast as possible. GeTS provides 24/7 customer support and expert advice on customs compliance matters for your peace of mind.
To learn more, visit our border crossing or border connect eManifest page.