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Frequently Asked Questions


210 East Sunrise Highway
Valley Stream, NY  11581

Telephone: (516) 594-9771
Fax: (516) 594-9779


Here you will find frequently asked questions regarding US Customs Automated Commercial Environment


What is ACE?
What systems will be affected?
When will ACE capabilities be available?
Why should my company participate in ACE?

Questions and Answers
What is ACE?
As one of the key agencies responsible for border security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is at the forefront of efforts to provide greater security to America's borders. Part of that mission includes the economic security needed to preserve the American way of life through the processing of ever increasing volumes of legitimate trade. With these twin goals in mind, border protection and trade facilitation, it is imperative CBP utilize state-of-the-art technology and business operations to increase efficiency and meet the economic and security needs of the future. In early 2001, U.S. Customs embarked on a multi-year effort to bring up-to-date commercial processing with the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The ACE is being designed to expedite lawful trade and support the global supply chain while enhancing border security efforts. A key function of ACE is to arm CBP personnel with the tools and information they need to decide, before a shipment reaches the border, what should be targeted because it is high risk, and what should be expedited because it complies with U.S. laws.
What systems will be affected?
Ultimately CBP will modernize its operational processes and the technology that supports them. The ACE will replace current CBP trade processing systems including the Automated Commercial System (ACS), the Automated Export System (AES), Border Release Advanced Screening and Selectivity (BRASS), the Customs Automated Forms Entry System (CAFES), Free and Secure Trade (FAST), and the Pre-arrival Processing System (PAPS). It will interface with the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), the Automated Targeting System (ATS), the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS), the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC), and the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS).
When will ACE capabilities be available?
The ACE Secure Data Portal was launched in October 2003. This customized Web page provides a single on-line access point to CBP systems, including ACS, BRASS, PAPS, CAFES, ATS, FAST, TECS, and the NCIC. The ACE periodic payment and statement features were introduced in June 2004, ushering in a new era of account-based processing. In December 2004, the first land border port was transitioned to ACE in Blaine, Washington, and an electronic manifest (e-Manifest) for trucks was introduced. Ports are being transitioned to ACE in geographic clusters in a phased approach. As of December 2005, ACE has been deployed at 31 ports in the states of Washington, Arizona, North Dakota, Michigan, and Minnesota. The schedule for deployments of ACE to additional ports resumes in January, beginning with selected ports in Texas in early 2006. For a list of the current ports with ACE capabilities, visit the ACE Accomplishments Fact Sheet.
Why should my company participate in ACE?
Participating in ACE supports the Department of Homeland Security dual mission to facilitate legitimate trade and secure the Nations borders. In addition, there are many tangible benefits for importers, brokers, and carriers including: Financial savings with the periodic monthly payment capability. Reduced processing time at the border with features like e-Manifest: Trucks Ability to view shipment status and store data via the ACE Secure Data Portal Capabilities to develop over 60 types of customized reports
Joseph Smith Company offers a full range of import and export services. Call us toll-free at 888-4-JSMITH (888-457-6484) to see how we can put our experience to work for you.

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Joseph Smith Company is not a licensed OTI. All OTI services will be provided via referral through licensed OTI providers