[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 27 (Tuesday, February 10, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7487-7490]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-02719]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Announcement of Modification of ACE Cargo Release Test To Permit 
the Combined Filing of Cargo Release and Importer Security Filing (ISF) 
Data

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: General notice.

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SUMMARY: This document announces U.S. Customs and Border Protection's 
(CBP's) plan to modify the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) 
test concerning Cargo Release in the Automated Commercial Environment 
(ACE) by modifying the name of one data element and allowing certain 
authorized importers and licensed customs brokers to submit the ACE 
Cargo Release entry and the Importer Security Filing (ISF) in a 
combined transmission to CBP.

DATES: The ACE Cargo Release Test modifications set forth in this 
document are effective on February 10, 2015. The ACE Cargo Release Test 
will run until approximately November 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Comments or questions concerning this notice and indication 
of interest in participation in ACE Cargo Release Test should be 
submitted, via email, to Steven Zaccaro at 
[email protected]. In the subject line of your email, please 
use, ``Comment on Combined ACE Cargo Release and ISF Filing.'' The body 
of the email should identify the ports where filings are likely to 
occur.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For policy questions related to ACE, 
contact Stephen Hilsen, Director, Business Transformation, ACE Business 
Office, Office of International Trade, at [email protected]. 
For policy questions related to ISF, contact Craig Clark, Program 
Manager, Cargo and Conveyance Security, Office of Field Operations, at 
[email protected]. For technical questions, contact Steven 
Zaccaro, Client Representative Branch, ACE Business Office, Office of 
International Trade, at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. The National Customs Automation Program

    The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established by 
Subtitle B of Title VI--Customs Modernization in the North American 
Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 
2057, 2170, December 8, 1993) (Customs Modernization Act). See 19 
U.S.C. 1411. Through NCAP, the initial thrust of customs modernization 
was on trade compliance and the development of the Automated Commercial 
Environment (ACE), the planned successor to the Automated Commercial 
System (ACS). ACE is an automated and electronic system for commercial 
trade processing which is intended to streamline business processes, 
facilitate growth in trade, ensure cargo security, and foster 
participation in global commerce, while ensuring compliance with U.S. 
laws and regulations and reducing costs for U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP)

[[Page 7488]]

and all of its communities of interest. The ability to meet these 
objectives depends on successfully modernizing CBP's business functions 
and the information technology that supports those functions. CBP's 
modernization efforts are accomplished through phased releases of ACE 
component functionality designed to replace specific legacy ACS 
functions. Each release will begin with a test and, if the test is 
successful, will end with implementation of the functionality through 
the promulgation of regulations governing the new ACE feature and the 
retirement of the legacy ACS function.
    For the convenience of the public, a chronological listing of 
Federal Register publications detailing ACE test developments is set 
forth below in Section VII, entitled, ``Development of ACE 
Prototypes.'' The procedures and criteria applicable to participation 
in the ACE Cargo Release test and prior ACE tests remain in effect 
unless otherwise explicitly changed by this notice.

B. ACE Cargo Release Test

    On November 9, 2011, CBP published in the Federal Register (76 FR 
69755) a notice announcing an NCAP test concerning ACE Simplified Entry 
to simplify the entry process by reducing the number of data elements 
required to obtain release for cargo imported by air. In a general 
notice titled ``Modification of National Customs Automation Program 
Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release'' 
published in the Federal Register (78 FR 66039) on November 4, 2013, 
CBP modified the ACE Simplified Entry Test and renamed it the ACE Cargo 
Release Test. The ACE Cargo Release Test provided more capabilities to 
test participants and expanded eligibility by eliminating the Customs-
Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) status requirement for 
importer self-filers and customs brokers. On February 3, 2014, CBP 
published a notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 6210) announcing 
modification of the ACE Cargo Release Test to include the ocean and 
rail modes of transportation.

C. Importer Security Filing

    On November 25, 2008, pursuant to section 343(a) of the Trade Act 
of 2002 and section 203 of the Security and Accountability for Every 
(SAFE) Port Act of 2006, CBP published an interim final rule titled 
Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements in the 
Federal Register (73 FR 71730). That interim final rule required 
importers and carriers to submit certain information pertaining to 
maritime cargo prior to loading on vessels at foreign seaports by means 
of a CBP-approved electronic data interchange (EDI) system. On March 
29, 2012, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register (77 FR 19030) 
announcing that, as of September 29, 2012, ACE is the only CBP-approved 
EDI for carriers to transmit required advance ocean cargo information, 
including ISF data.
    The interim final rule, which is commonly known as the ``Importer 
Security Filing'' (ISF) or ``10 + 2'' rule, generally requires the ISF 
Importer to transmit certain cargo information consisting of 10 data 
elements for security purposes to CBP at least 24 hours before goods 
are loaded onto an ocean vessel destined for the United States. The ISF 
Importer is also required to transmit information regarding the 
container stuffing location and consolidator (stuffer) to CBP no later 
than 24 hours prior to arrival in a U.S. port or upon lading at a 
foreign port that is less than a 24 hour voyage to the closest U.S. 
port. See 19 CFR 149.2 and 149.3. Section 149.6 allows ISF data to be 
filed via the same electronic transmission as entry or entry/entry 
summary documentation pursuant to 19 CFR 142.3. CBP currently accepts 
this combined transmission through ACS. Now, as explained in Section 
III.B. below, ACE, under the ACE Cargo Release Test, has this 
functionality. Accordingly, in this notice, CBP announces it will be 
testing the filing of the combined transmission under ACE for filers 
participating in the ACE Cargo Release test. Until this functionality 
is generally available, anyone wishing to file a combined transmission 
who is not a participant in the ACE Cargo Release test should continue 
to use ACS to make that transmission. Although the interim final rule 
also requires the incoming carrier to provide additional information in 
advance as provided in 19 CFR 4.7a, these additional information 
requirements for carriers are not relevant to the ACE Cargo Release 
Test.
    The ISF Importer is defined in 19 CFR 149.1 as the party causing 
goods to arrive within the limits of a U.S. port by vessel. Section 
149.1 further provides that except for certain types of shipments not 
relevant to the ACE Cargo Release Test, the ISF Importer will be the 
goods' owner, purchaser, consignee, or agent such as a licensed customs 
broker.

II. Authorization for Modification of the ACE Cargo Release Test

    The Customs Modernization Act provides the Commissioner of CBP with 
authority to conduct limited test programs or procedures designed to 
evaluate planned components of the NCAP. The ACE Cargo Release Test, as 
modified in this notice, is authorized pursuant to Sec.  101.9(b) of 
title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 101.9(b)), which 
provides for the testing of NCAP programs or procedures. See Treasury 
Decision (T.D.) 95-21.

III. Modifications of ACE Cargo Release Test

A. Modification of One of the ACE Cargo Release Data Elements

    CBP is modifying one of the data elements required under the ACE 
Cargo Release Test. CBP is renaming the data element ``Buyer Employer 
Identification Number (consignee number)'' to ``Consignee Number.'' See 
data element 3 highlighted below. The definition of ``Consignee 
Number'' is specified in 19 CFR 149.3. This is the same definition that 
applied previously.
    The ACE Cargo Release data elements, as modified by this general 
notice, are:
    (1) Importer of Record Number.
    (2) Buyer name and address.
    (3) Consignee Number.
    (4) Seller name and address.
    (5) Manufacturer/supplier name and address.
    (6) HTS 10-digit number.
    (7) Country of origin.
    (8) Bill of lading.
    (9) Bill of lading issuer code.
    (10) Entry number.
    (11) Entry type.
    (12) Estimated shipment value.
    (13) Bill Quantity (The quantity of shipping units shown in the 
bill of lading. If the bill of lading quantity is specified in the 
entry, it becomes the entered and released quantity for that bill. If 
the bill quantity is not specified, full bill quantity will be entered 
and released for that bill).
    Data element (1) and data elements (6) through (12) are defined in 
the same manner as when they are used for entry filing. Data elements 
(2) through (5) are defined in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 
149.3.

B. Modification of ACE Cargo Release Test To Permit the Combined 
Submission of ACE Cargo Release and ISF Data

    CBP is also modifying the ACE Cargo Release Test to permit the 
transmission of ACE Cargo Release and ISF data in a combined submission 
when certain requirements are met. In order to participate in the ACE 
Cargo Release Test and submit ACE entry and ISF data in a combined 
submission, filers must meet certain eligibility, data, timeliness, and 
other requirements.
    1. Eligibility for combined filing: In order to file a combined 
submission the

[[Page 7489]]

filer must meet the definition of an ISF Importer as defined in Sec.  
149.1 and be either a: (1) Self-filing importer who has the ability to 
file ACE Entry Summaries certified for cargo release or a broker who 
has the ability to file ACE Entry Summaries certified for cargo 
release; or (2) self-filing importer or broker who has stated his or 
her intent to file entry summaries in ACE in its request to participate 
in the test. Parties seeking to participate in this test must use a 
software package that has completed ABI certification testing for ACE 
and offers the ACE Cargo Release message set prior to transmitting data 
under the test. See the General Notice of August 26, 2008 (73 FR 50337) 
for a complete discussion on the procedures for obtaining an ACE Portal 
Account. Importers not self-filing must ensure their broker has the 
capability to file entry summaries in ACE. Although the ACE Cargo 
Release Test is open to all importers and customs brokers filing ACE 
Entry Summaries for cargo transported in the air, ocean and rail modes, 
the ISF is required only for cargo transported by vessel in the ocean 
mode of transportation. Therefore, the combined submission is available 
only for cargo transported by vessel. Entries requiring Partner 
Government Agency (PGA) information and certification from entry 
summary are not available for a combined filing at this time.
    2. Procedures for combined filing: Any party seeking to file a 
combined submission that is not already a participant in the ACE Cargo 
Release Test must request to participate in the test and provide their 
filer code to CBP and identify the port(s) at which they are interested 
in filing their combined ACE Cargo Release and ISF data. For a 
description of the application process and selection criteria for the 
ACE Cargo Release Test see the instruction published in the general 
notice titled ``Modification of National Customs Automation Program 
(NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo 
Release for Ocean and Rail Carriers,'' 79 FR 6210 (February 3, 2014). A 
party that is currently participating in the ACE Cargo Release Test may 
file a combined submission after notifying their ACE account 
representative.
    3. Additional data elements required for combined filing: To submit 
a combined filing, importers and customs brokers need to transmit the 
following data elements: (1) The ACE Cargo Release data elements, as 
described and modified in Section III. A and (2) the three data 
elements listed below, as defined in 19 CFR 149.3. The three additional 
data elements are:
    (1) Ship to party.
    (2) Container stuffing location.
    (3) Consolidator (stuffer).
    4. Timeframe for the combined filing: Because the applicable 
timeframes for submitting ISF data as set forth in 19 CFR part 149 are 
earlier than the required timeframe for submitting ACE Cargo Release 
data, test participants must transmit all of the required information 
within the applicable timeframes specified in 19 CFR part 149. With 
certain exceptions, the ISF Importer must transmit the ISF data no 
later than 24 hours before the cargo is laden aboard the vessel at the 
foreign port. See 19 CFR 149.2 and 149.3.
    5. Other requirements: The submission of a combined filing does not 
relieve the ISF Importer of any of its other obligations under 19 CFR 
part 149. With regard to the submission of ISF data, test participants 
should be aware that they will not be able to utilize the ISF flexible 
filing provisions in 19 CFR 149.2(f) (which permits the ISF Importer to 
submit an initial response for four of the data elements based on the 
best available data available and to update the information as soon as 
more precise or more accurate information is available) if they submit 
a combined filing. This limitation is necessary because the Cargo 
Release information will be used by CBP to make determinations 
regarding the admissibility of imported merchandise.
    Upon receipt of the ACE Cargo Release data and the three additional 
ISF data elements, CBP will process the submission and separately 
transmit the ISF filing response and cargo release decision to the 
filer. As provided in 19 CFR 141.68(e), the merchandise will not be 
considered to be entered until the merchandise has arrived in the port 
with the intent to unlade.
    6. Test duration: The ACE Cargo Release Test, as modified, will run 
until approximately November 1, 2015.

IV. Misconduct Under the Test

    The terms for misconduct under the ACE Cargo Release Test set forth 
in 78 FR 66039 (November 4, 2013) continue to apply.

V. Previous Notices

    All requirements and aspects of the ACE test discussed in previous 
notices are hereby incorporated by reference into this notice and 
continue to be applicable, unless changed by this notice.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information for the ACE Cargo Release Test and 
ISF have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 
accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 
U.S.C. 3507). The OMB information collection number for the ACE Cargo 
Release Test is 1651-0024 and the OMB information collection number for 
ISF is 1651-0001. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is 
not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it 
displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

VII. Development of ACE Prototypes

    A chronological listing of Federal Register publications detailing 
ACE test developments is set forth below.
     ACE Portal Accounts and Subsequent Revision Notices: 67 FR 
21800 (May 1, 2002); 70 FR 5199 (February 1, 2005); 69 FR 5360 and 69 
FR 5362 (February 4, 2004); 69 FR 54302 (September 8, 2004).
     ACE System of Records Notice: 71 FR 3109 (January 19, 
2006).
     Terms/Conditions for Access to the ACE Portal and 
Subsequent Revisions: 72 FR 27632 (May 16, 2007); 73 FR 38464 (July 7, 
2008).
     ACE Non-Portal Accounts and Related Notice: 70 FR 61466 
(October 24, 2005); 71 FR 15756 (March 29, 2006).
     ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR I) 
Capabilities: 72 FR 59105 (October 18, 2007).
     ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR II) 
Capabilities: 73 FR 50337 (August 26, 2008); 74 FR 9826 (March 6, 
2009).
     ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR III) 
Capabilities: 74 FR 69129 (December 30, 2009).
     ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR IV) 
Capabilities: 76 FR 37136 (June 24, 2011).
     Post-Entry Amendment (PEA) Processing Test: 76 FR 37136 
(June 24, 2011).
     ACE Announcement of a New Start Date for the National 
Customs Automation Program Test of Automated Manifest Capabilities for 
Ocean and Rail Carriers: 76 FR 42721 (July 19, 2011).
     ACE Simplified Entry: 76 FR 69755 (November 9, 2011).
     National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests 
Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System 
(DIS): 77 FR 20835 (April 6, 2012).
     National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests 
Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Simplified Entry: 
Modification of Participant Selection Criteria and Application Process: 
77 FR 48527 (August 14, 2012).
     Modification of NCAP Test Regarding Reconciliation for 
Filing

[[Page 7490]]

Certain Post-Importation Preferential Tariff Treatment Claims under 
Certain FTAs: 78 FR 27984 (May 13, 2013).
     Modification of Two National Customs Automation Program 
(NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document 
Image System (DIS) and Simplified Entry (SE): 78 FR 44142 (July 23, 
2013).
     Modification of Two National Customs Automation Program 
(NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document 
Image System (DIS) and Simplified Entry (SE); Correction: 78 FR 53466 
(August 29, 2013).
     Modification of NCAP Test Concerning Automated Commercial 
Environment (ACE) Cargo Release (formerly known as Simplified Entry): 
78 FR 66039 (November 4, 2013).
     Post-Summary Corrections to Entry Summaries Filed in ACE 
Pursuant to the ESAR IV Test: Modifications and Clarifications: 78 FR 
69434 (November 19, 2013).
     National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning 
the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Environmental Protection 
Agency and the Food Safety and Inspection Service Using the Partner 
Government Agency Message Set Through the Automated Commercial 
Environment (ACE): 78 FR 75931 (December 13, 2013).
     Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) 
Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release 
for Ocean and Rail Carriers: 79 FR 6210 (February 3, 2014).
     Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) 
Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release To 
Allow Importers and Brokers To Certify From ACE Entry Summary: 79 FR 
24744 (May 1, 2014).
     Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) 
Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release 
for Truck Carriers: 79 FR 25142 (May 2, 2014).
     Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) 
Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment Document Image System: 
79 FR 36083 (June 25, 2014).

    Dated: February 5, 2015.
Sandra L. Bell,
Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade.
[FR Doc. 2015-02719 Filed 2-9-15; 8:45 am]
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