Mandatory Transition To ACE: What Importers Need To Know

On February 28, 2016, it will be mandatory for Customs Brokers and Self-Filers to file entries tthrough ACE instead of ACS.
As an overview, The Automated Commercial System (ACS) is used by CBP to track, control, and process all goods imported into the United States. A key component is the Automated Broker Interface (ABI), which allows qualified participants to electronically file required import data with Customs.

CBP is currently working to transition cargo processing to the Automated Commercial Envrionment (ACE). ACE is being developed as the primary, modernized system through which the U.S. government will track, control and process all imported and exported goods.


How does it effect you as our importers?

Ultimately, it will provide faster processing of the entries electronically. While in the transition phase, Flegenheimer International has been actively participating in different pilot programs with all participating government agencies such as FDA, FSIS, NHTSA, Lacey Act and NOAA to name a few.  Not all of the pilot testing has gone smoothly, there have been some bugs in the communication from one Government agency to another. In some cases, this has caused delays in the release of freight. If you have experienced any delays on the release of your cargo, we sincerely apologize and rest assured that we have been working closely with CBP and Other Government Agencies reporting all of the problems that we have encountered with the new system.

In order to expedite the release of your shipments, we request that you send us all shipping documents in advance so that we may start the processing early and fix any problems that may arise before the freight arrives. Please also notify your manufacturers and packers to review their FDA Registration information to make sure it is accurate. This has been one of the biggest problems holding up the release of shipments, the address that the manufacturer registers is in some way different than the address CBP/FDA has. Typically, the problem is the country, for example, the person registering the company lists China instead of Taiwan as the country where the company is located or vice-versa.

We are happy to say that Flegenheimer International in conjunction with our software vendor have been one of the pioneers in the transition from ACS to ACE. We have been talking to CBP and all of the Government agencies almost on a daily basis to give our input and pilot the new technology. WE ARE READY FOR THE TRANSITION. If you are using other brokers, we suggest that you talk to them and see where they are in their transition to ACE. According to CBP, many brokers have not yet filed any entries in the ACE environment and with the February 28th deadline looming, they will have a hard time transitioning.

Thank you all for your patience and support in this time of transition!


For More information in ACE, please visit