Security Agencies Ease Document Submission

In eliminating the requirement to participate in Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) in order to establish an account for its Automated Commercial Environment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said this does not diminish the commitment to C-TPAT. The move is designed to increase use of the ACE system for documentation.

ACE will replace the current paper-dependent, transaction-intensive import system, according to CBP officials. ACE is a fully automated system to allow collection, processing and analysis of commercial import and export data.

“Importers, brokers and carriers are encouraged to apply for ACE accounts as soon as possible to ensure smooth operations when ACE participating is eventually made mandatory,” said CBP. ACE, which was launched in October 2003 with the establishment of the ACE Secure Data Portal, provides an on-line access point to CBP systems and permits periodic payment of customs fees and duties.

In separate news, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said members of the maritime industry would now be able to submit arrival and departure information through submission of a single report. The Electronic Notice of Arrival/Departure System (eNOAD) will allow vessel, voyage and cargo information to be submitted through a single avenue. “This system currently cannot receive information for Customs and Border Protection’s mandatory electronic cargo information regulation,” said the announcement. “The two agencies are continuing to work on ways to share this kind of information.” Other enhancements to the system include allowing the user to update previously submitted information and e-mail acknowledgement that the report was received.

While use of this new system is not mandatory, CBP will also publish regulations which will require submission through eNOAD, the agency said.

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