[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 166 (Tuesday, August 26, 2008)]
[Pages 50337-50340]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-19780]



U.S. Customs and Border Protection

National Customs Automation Program Test Concerning Automated 
Commercial Environment (ACE) Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 

ACTION: General notice.


SUMMARY: This document announces Customs and Border Protection's 
(CBP's) plan to conduct a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) 
test concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Entry Summary, 
Accounts and Revenue (ESAR) capabilities. These new capabilities will 
include functionality specific to the filing and processing of formal 
consumption entries and informal entries. This entry summary processing 
will include Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Census Warning Overrides 
and issuance of certain CBP forms through the ACE Portal. Other new 
functionality will enhance Portal Account Management and allow for ACE 
Secure Data Portal reporting. In addition to announcing new 
functionality, this notice invites public comment concerning any aspect 
of the planned test, describes the eligibility, procedural, and 

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requirements for voluntary participation in the test, and outlines the 
development and evaluation methodology to be used in the test. This 
notice will be referred to as the ESAR II Notice.

DATES: Comments on this notice and interest in participation in this 
planned test are requested by October 27, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Comments concerning this notice and indication of interest 
in participation in ESAR II should be submitted via e-mail to Janet 
Pence at [email protected]. Please indicate ``ESAR II Federal 
Register Notice'' in the subject line of your e-mail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For policy-related questions, please 
contact Cynthia Whittenburg at [email protected]. For 
technical questions that are non-ABI related, please contact Valarie 
Neuhart at (703) 650-3370. For technical questions related to ABI 
transmissions, please contact your assigned client representative. 
Interested parties without an assigned client representative should 
direct their questions to the Client Representative Branch at (703) 



I. ACE Test Programs

A. ACE Portal Accounts
    On May 1, 2002, the former U.S. Customs Service, now U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection (CBP), published a General Notice in the Federal 
Register (67 FR 21800) announcing a plan to conduct a National Customs 
Automation Program (NCAP) test of the first phase of the Automated 
Commercial Environment (ACE). The test was described as the first step 
toward the full electronic processing of commercial importations with a 
focus on defining and establishing an importer's account structure. The 
notice announced that importers and authorized parties would be allowed 
to access their customs data via a Web-based Account Portal. The notice 
set forth eligibility criteria for companies interested in establishing 
Account Portals accessible through ACE.
    Subsequent General Notices revised the eligibility criteria (see 
General Notice published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2005 
(67 FR 5199)) and expanded the universe of eligible participants in the 
ACE test and the types of ACE Portal Accounts. On February 4, 2004, CBP 
published two General Notices in the Federal Register, establishing ACE 
Truck Carrier Accounts and opening the application period for 
authorized importers and their designated brokers to participate in the 
NCAP test implementing the Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) process 
(see 69 FR 5360 and 69 FR 5362, respectively). Brokers were invited to 
establish Broker Accounts in ACE in order to participate in the NCAP 
test to implement PMS. In both of the February 4, 2004 General Notices, 
CBP advised participants that they could designate only one person as 
the Account Owner for the company's ACE Portal Account. The Account 
Owner was identified as the party responsible for safeguarding the 
company's ACE Portal Account information, controlling all disclosures 
of that information to authorized persons, authorizing user access to 
the ACE Portal Account information, and ensuring the strict control of 
access by authorized persons to the ACE Portal information.
    On September 8, 2004, CBP published a General Notice in the Federal 
Register (69 FR 54302) inviting customs brokers to participate in the 
ACE Portal test generally and informing interested parties that once 
they had been notified by CBP that their request to participate in the 
ACE Portal test had been accepted, they would be asked to sign and 
submit a Terms and Conditions document. CBP subsequently contacted 
those participants and asked them to also sign and submit an ACE Power 
of Attorney form and an Additional Account/Account Owner Information 
B. Terms and Conditions for Access to the ACE Portal
    On May 16, 2007, CBP published a General Notice in the Federal 
Register (72 FR 27632) announcing a revision of the terms and 
conditions that must be followed as a condition for access to the ACE 
Portal. These terms and conditions superseded and replaced the Terms 
and Conditions document previously signed and submitted to CBP by ACE 
Portal Trade Account Owners. The notice specified that no further 
action would be required by ACE Portal Trade Account Owners for those 
ACE Portal Accounts already established with CBP with the proper 
Account Owner listed. The principal changes to the ACE Terms and 
Conditions included a revised definition of ``Account Owner'' to permit 
either an individual or a legal entity to serve in this capacity, new 
requirements relating to providing notice to CBP when there has been a 
material change in the status of the Account and/or Trade Account 
Owner, and explanatory provisions as to how the information from a 
particular account may be accessed through the ACE Portal when that 
account is transferred to a new owner.
    On July 7, 2008, CBP published a General Notice in the Federal 
Register (73 FR 38464) which revised the terms and conditions set forth 
in the May 16, 2007, notice regarding the period of Portal inactivity 
which will result in termination of access to the ACE Portal. The July 
7, 2008, notice provided that if forty-five (45) consecutive days 
elapse without an Account Owner, Proxy Account Owner, or an Account 
user accessing the ACE Portal, access to the Portal will be terminated. 
The time period for allowable Portal inactivity previously was ninety 
(90) days.
C. ACE Non-Portal Accounts
    CBP has also permitted certain parties to participate in specified 
ACE tests without establishing ACE Portal Accounts (''Non-Portal 
Accounts''). On October 24, 2005, CBP published a General Notice in the 
Federal Register (70 FR 61466) announcing that importers could 
establish ACE Non-Portal Accounts and participate in the PMS test under 
certain conditions. On March 29, 2006, CBP published another General 
Notice in the Federal Register (71 FR 15756) announcing that truck 
carriers that do not have ACE Truck Carrier Accounts may use third 
parties to transmit truck manifest information on their behalf 
electronically in the ACE Truck Manifest system via Electronic Data 
Interface (EDI) messaging.
D. New ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR I) Capabilities
    On October 18, 2007, CBP published a General Notice in the Federal 
Register (see 72 FR 59105) announcing CBP's plan to conduct a new test 
concerning ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR) capabilities, 
providing enhanced account management functions for ACE Portal Accounts 
and expanding the universe of ACE account types. This General Notice is 
commonly referred to as ESAR I.
    As stated in that notice, ACE is now the lead system for CBP-
required master data elements (e.g., company name, address, and point 
of contact) as well as related reference files (e.g., country code, 
port code, manufacturer ID, and gold currency exchange rate and 
conversion calculator). See ACE Systems of Record Notice, published in 
the Federal Register on January 19, 2006 (71 FR 3109). This means that 
the creation and maintenance of specified master data elements will 
originate in ACE and will be distributed to other CBP systems such as 
the Automated Commercial System (ACS).

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    In addition to announcing that importer Portal Accounts are capable 
of creating and maintaining specified importer data via the ACE Portal, 
the notice stated that filers have the ability to create a new CBP Form 
5106 (Importer ID Input Record) via the ACE Portal or the Automated 
Broker Interface (ABI), and view applicable Participating Government 
Agency (PGA) licenses, permits and certificates via the ACE Portal. 
Through this notice, Broker Portal Accounts were provided the 
capability through the ACE Portal of maintaining organizational 
demographic data (e.g., addresses, points of contact, etc.), license 
and permit qualifiers, data on managing officials, employee lists, 
information on relationships to individual licensed brokers, points of 
contact and address information (at filer code level for each local 
broker permit and each port covered by the local permit, and for the 
national broker permit). Truck Carrier Portal Accounts were provided 
the capability through the ACE Portal to view any applicable PGA 
licenses, permits and certificates, and to maintain through the ACE 
Portal addresses and points of contact and pre-registered truck 
conveyance information, including equipment, shipper, and consignee 
data. Truck Carrier Portal Accounts were also provided with the ability 
to create and maintain driver accounts and search for and correlate 
existing driver accounts to their Carrier Account. Finally, the notice 
also announced the expansion of Portal Account Types to now include: 
Carriers (all modes: air, rail, sea); cartman; lighterman; driver/crew; 
facility operator; filer; foreign trade zone (FTZ) operator; service 
provider; and surety.

II. Test Concerning New ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR 
II) Capabilities

A. In General
    This document announces CBP's plan to conduct a new test concerning 
ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR II) capabilities that 
will provide new Portal and EDI capabilities specific to Entry Summary 
filing and processing of consumption and informal entries. 
Functionality will include ABI Census Warning Overrides and issuance of 
CBP requests for information and notices of action through the ACE 
Portal. New functionality will enhance Portal Account Management and 
allow for ACE Secure Data Portal reporting.
    Initially, this release of ESAR II will be limited only to formal 
entries, commonly referred to in the Automated Commercial System (ACS) 
as type 01 entries, and informal entries, commonly referred to in ACS 
as type 11 entries. Functionality for other entry types will be 
implemented as it becomes available and will be announced via 
subsequent publication in the Federal Register. Interested ABI 
participants wishing to submit type 01 and 11 entries for this test are 
asked to provide CBP with the number of expected ACE entry summaries 
that will be submitted to the ports listed in this notice within 60 
days of publication of this notice (see Part IV below).
B. Portal Capability
1. Forms and Documents
    CBP Forms 28, 29, and 4647 issued for ACE entry summaries will be 
posted to a participating importer's ACE Portal Account. Participating 
importer and broker ACE Portal Accounts may select a preferred method 
of communication with CBP with regard to the receipt of CBP Form 28, 
Request for Information, CBP Form 29, Notice of Action Taken, and CBP 
Form 4647, Notice to Mark and/or Notices to Redeliver, that are issued 
for ACE entry summaries. Communication may be done electronically 
through the Portal or by paper or via both methods. Additionally, an 
importer Portal Account whose entry summaries will be filed by an ACE 
test participant may respond to CBP forms through the ACE Secure Data 
Portal by interactively completing the form and uploading additional 
supporting documentation or images, as needed. Importers and/or 
participating test filers should also note that forms may be saved in 
draft form prior to submission to CBP. However, once sent, the document 
cannot be changed. A print option will also be available for those 
participants choosing to print the form and then mail it to CBP.
2. Declarations
    Participating importer, broker, and carrier Portal Account types 
will be able to maintain certain declarations in the ACE Secure Data 
Portal. Those declarations may be communicated to CBP through that 
Portal. The system will not yet allow submission of these declarations 
for particular entry summaries, but will allow communication in 
response to CBP requests. Declarations that will be supported via the 
Portal include the following: Affidavits of manufacturers; North 
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificates of Origin; Non-
Reimbursement Blanket Statements (Anti-Dumping/Countervailing Duty (AD/
CVD)); certain marking rulings; and importer certifying statements.
3. Reports
    ACE Secure Data Portal Reports will be enhanced to include ACE 
Entry Summary Data.
C. EDI Capability
1. Entry Summary
    Approved trade participants may begin to file entry summaries 
electronically in ACE for entry types 01 and 11 using a better 
organized, more descriptive ACE ABI CATAIR (Customs and Trade Automated 
Interface Requirements) document. CATAIR documentation provides 
complete information describing how importers and/or their agents 
provide electronic import information to ABI, and receive transmissions 
from ABI once they have become a participant.
2. Cargo Release
    Filers may also initiate cargo release from a certified entry 
summary filed in ACE.
3. Census Warnings
    Census warnings may be electronically overridden for ACE entry 
summaries prior to or after receiving a Census warning message through 
ABI. There will also be an ACE Census Warning ABI Query for unresolved 
warnings. Interested parties should go to CBP.gov for more detailed 
information regarding these new ACE ABI CATAIR formats.
4. Automated Invoice Interface (AII) and Reconciliation
    ACE entry summaries may be flagged for AII and reconciliation.
5. ABI Status Messages
    The ACE Entry Summary Status Notification message will contain the 
following status information regarding an action CBP has manually 
executed for an ACE entry summary:
     Request for Electronic Invoice Data.
     Entry Summary Documentation.
     Entry Summary Reject.
     Entry Summary Inactivated.
     Entry Summary Canceled.
    Interested parties should go to CBP.gov for more detailed 
information regarding these new ACE ABI CATAIR formats.
    The ABI Status message will contain an Action Identification Number 
that is a unique number assigned by ACE to identify the specific action 
or request to correlate trade responses to the initial CBP request.

[[Page 50340]]

6. Reporting of the Ultimate Consignee Number
    The ultimate consignee number must be reported for each entry 
summary line. When the importer of record and the ultimate consignee 
number are the same, the number must appear on each line; the word 
``SAME'' may not be used.

III. Eligibility Requirements

    Importer and broker volunteers wishing to benefit from Portal 
functionality available in this test must have an ACE Portal Account 
(see notices referenced above relating to the establishment of ACE 
Portal Accounts). Volunteers may also participate as Non-Portal 
Accounts, but they will not be able to avail themselves of all 
functionality offered.
    ABI volunteers wishing to participate in this test must:
     File entries on a Statement, i.e., no non-statement, 
single pay entry summaries will be allowed.
     Use a software package that has completed ABI 
certification testing for ACE (NOTE: software providers need not reply 
to this Notice but should contact their client representative if they 
are interested in ABI certification testing for ACE).
    All data submitted and entered into the ACE Portal is subject to 
the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905) and is considered confidential, 
except to the extent as otherwise provided by law (see 19 U.S.C. 
    As stated in previous notices, participation in this or any of the 
previous ACE tests is not confidential and upon a written Freedom of 
Information Act request, a name(s) of an approved participant(s) will 
be disclosed by CBP in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552.
    If necessary, CBP will reserve the right to limit the number of 
participants and locations during the initial stages of the test.

IV. Implementation of the Test

    This test of ESAR II capabilities will be conducted in a phased 
approach, with initial deployment scheduled for no earlier than January 
23, 2009. In order to properly conduct this test, CBP invites 
interested trade ABI volunteers to provide comments to CBP with regard 
to the number of expected ACE entry summaries that will be submitted to 
each of the ports listed below. Interested ABI trade volunteers are to 
provide their comments to CBP within 60 days of publication of this 
notice. Based on comments received in response to this notice, CBP will 
publish a subsequent Federal Register notice setting forth the 
deployment schedule at dates to be announced for specified ports.
    ABI trade volunteers interested in submitting type 01 and 11 
entries for this test are asked to provide CBP with the number of 
expected ACE entry summaries that will be submitted to each of the 
locations listed below:
     Miami, Florida.
     New Orleans, Louisiana.
     Houston, Texas.
     Long Beach, California.
     Laredo, Texas.
     San Francisco, California.
     Seattle, Washington.
     Chicago, Illinois.
     El Paso, Texas.
     Boston, Massachusetts.
     San Diego, California.
     Newark, New Jersey.
     J.F.K. Airport, New York.
     Baltimore, Maryland.
     Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
     Cleveland, Ohio.
     Tucson, Arizona.
     Tampa, Florida.
     Buffalo, New York.
     Detroit, Michigan.
     Atlanta, Georgia.

V. Waiver of Affected Regulations

    Any provision in the CBP Regulations (title 19, Code of Federal 
Regulations), including but not limited to provisions found in parts 
141, 142, 143 and 151, relating to entry/entry summary processing, 
invoicing, examination and redelivery of merchandise, that are 
inconsistent with the requirements set forth in this ESAR II Notice are 
waived for the duration of the test.

VI. Misconduct Under the Test

    An ACE test participant may be subject to civil and criminal 
penalties, administrative sanctions, liquidated damages, and/or 
suspension from this test for any of the following:
     Failure to follow the terms and conditions of this test.
     Failure to exercise reasonable care in the execution of 
participant obligations.
     Failure to abide by applicable laws and regulations.
     Failure to deposit duties or fees in a timely manner.
     Misuse of the ACE Portal.
     Engagement in any unauthorized disclosure or access to the 
ACE Portal.
     Engagement in any activity which interferes with the 
successful evaluation of the new technology.
    Suspensions for misconduct will be administered by the Executive 
Director, Commercial Targeting and Enforcement, Office of International 
Trade, CBP Headquarters. A notice proposing suspension will be provided 
in writing to the participant. Such notice will apprise the participant 
of the facts or conduct warranting suspension and will inform the 
participant of the date that the suspension will begin.
    Any decision proposing suspension of a participant may be appealed 
in writing to the Assistant Commissioner, Office of International 
Trade, within 15 calendar days of the notification date. Should the 
participant appeal the notice of proposed suspension, the participant 
must address the facts or conduct charges contained in the notice and 
state how compliance will be achieved. In cases of non-payment, late 
payment, willful misconduct or where public health interests or safety 
is concerned, the suspension may be effective immediately.

VII. Test Evaluation Criteria

    To ensure adequate feedback, participants are required to 
participate in an evaluation of this test. CBP also invites all 
interested parties to comment on the design, implementation and conduct 
of the test at any time during the test period. CBP will publish the 
final results in the Federal Register and the Customs Bulletin as 
required by 19 CFR 101.9(b).
    The following evaluation methods and criteria have been suggested:
    1. Baseline measurements to be established through data analysis.
    2. Questionnaires from both trade participants and CBP addressing 
such issues as:
     Workload impact (workload shifts/volume, cycle times, 
     Cost savings (staff, interest, reduction in mailing costs, 
     Policy and procedure accommodation.
     Trade compliance impact.
     Problem resolution.
     System efficiency.
     Operational efficiency.
     Other issues identified by the participant group.

    Dated: August 19, 2008.
Daniel Baldwin,
Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade.
 [FR Doc. E8-19780 Filed 8-25-08; 8:45 am]