Single window in the United States: the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)

The following are developments towards the goal of making the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) the single window for foreign trade in the United States, as reported by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

First and foremost, the ACE remains the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) electronic platform for processing imports and exports; over the past four years, the ACE has been further developed and refined.

As of December 2021, new elements were still being incorporated into the ECA and several initiatives were planned for the future.

Earlier, in FY 2020, efforts to automate and simplify the ACE procedure generated an estimated economic benefit of $1.4 billion for the business community and $106 million for CBP.

Work to make ACE the premier trade platform, or single window, began in 2014 and the most important elements were completed in 2018.

Through the ACE, some 250 official forms have been automated and the procedures of more than 40 government agencies have been incorporated.

Thus, the ACE manages all import manifests, cargo release, post-release formalities and export processes.

Single window

Since 1 May 2015, it has been mandatory to use the ECA to submit electronic manifests.

During the period under review, new elements were added to the ECA to implement the function relating to importers’ consolidated statements of deferred taxes, the CBA, modifications to the USMCA drawback system, antidumping and countervailing duty indicators for circumvention and EAPA-related injunctions, and the Automated Real-Time Assurance Interface (ASI).

CBP announced that it would initiate phase 1 of the EAPA portal modernisation on 22 January 2022.

This modernisation effort was expected to transfer existing functions to an enhanced platform for ease of use and improved functionality.

Some of the enhancements included a new login page, a general search tool and an improved account user interface. Several other improvements or changes were planned for 2022.

The import licensing regime for steel and aluminium tracking is managed through a separate Department of Commerce web interface, where importers must first apply for and receive a licence number, the reference for which can then be submitted through the CBP ACE interface.


Redacción Opportimes