One initiative the NCBFAA has worked on for the last several years that will continue into 2013 is the ongoing co-development with Customs and Border Protection of the functionalities needed to make the Automated Commercial Environment a practical operating system. In 2013, we expect ACE to include border/cargo release and edits in the entry summary. Many customs brokers have been testing ACE, but these two functionalities will allow filers to begin moving out of test modes and into full use of the system. This will allow CBP to save resources by phasing out the old Automated Commercial System.
Other system features on the 2013 development agenda include the document imaging system and the ACE interface with other government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and others. We hope to see the other government agencies who are involved in the import process to continue working with Customs to simplify the import process so that ACE is the single reporting system for all agencies.
The customs brokerage and freight forwarding industry will continue its move into automation because it creates the greatest efficiencies for our customers. The industry’s improved automation systems, will offer better communication opportunities for customers as it moves toward paper-free environments for processes such as payments and document management. These enhanced automation systems also will provide the industry with opportunities to expand its service offerings to clients in other areas, such as customized reporting capabilities and compliance.
We also expect a Customs reauthorization bill out of Congress that will help maintain funding for ACE development and introduce reform of duty-drawback regulations.