U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has installed the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) trade processing system in two border states -- Texas and New Mexico. All 13 land border ports in Texas as well as two ports in New Mexico – at Santa Teresa and Columbus – are now processing cargo using the ACE system to facilitate faster border crossings.
One port remains to be completed in New Mexico. CBP’s goal is to ultimately deploy ACE at all land border ports.
CBP’s next step is to complete its coverage of the southern border by extending ACE to California; it will then begin installation in the northeast. While ACE is currently focused on the trucking industry, it will eventually be implemented for air, rail and sea cargo as well.
“The transition to ACE in Texas and New Mexico is huge, representing more than half of our operations on the southern land border, stretching nearly 1500 miles,” notes Louis Samenfink, CBP’s cargo systems program office executive director. “Making the switch to ACE improves border security and facilitates legitimate trade.”
For now, CBP is encouraging truckers to establish ACE accounts for using electronic manifests (e-Manifests) which will eventually be required at all land ports.
In operation, truck carriers file an e-Manifest through a web-based data portal or CBP-approved EDI (electronic data interchange) procedure. When a truck nears a border booth, a transponder signals its arrival and the e-Manifest for the cargo is retrieved.
Currently there is a total of 41 ACE ports in Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, Texas and New Mexico.