News

Don’t be fooled: ACE is coming It’s April - but there’s no joke here

If you aren’t thinking about ACE yet: you’d better start now!  It may be April - but don’t be fooled: ACE is coming in less than 7 months – ready or not.  There’s still time to start making ACE plans – but the days to get ready are rapidly disappearing.

Months ago, ACE wasn’t a viable option for many clients:  but that’s no longer the case.  Over half the brokers using our software are filing entries via ACE.  In fact, many are filing 80-90% of their entries in the ACE environment.  Yes, there are still some cases where ACE isn’t an option – but you should be prepping now so you can roll out quickly when the time comes.

If you’re not one of the clients that’s filing via ACE, please contact support@xtheta.com as soon as possible to find out how you can start planning for the transition.   There are several large scale changes to your business process that you will need to plan for – so don’t wait until it’s too late!

Software update availableUpdate X15001 is being released soon

Xtheta is releasing update X15001 in the next few days.  This update is mostly targeted at ACE improvements including:

  • Cargo release
  • Post summary correction (PSC)
  • Other fixes and cleanups

We will be updating our ACE guidelines available on the www.xtheta.com to reflect the new release.

Please be aware that this update is only available to Xcb users since mainstream support for CB ended on March 31, 2015.

CB System mainstream support has endedOur legacy import/export software is being retired

The CB system is an older software product that Xtheta maintained in accordance with a third party license agreement since 2007.   On November 17, 2014, we started phasing out this older software since it did not support ACE and will no longer be able to file entries as of November 1, 2015 when Customs disables ACS.

If you are still using the CB system, please contact sales@xtheta.com to upgrade to Xcb.  Xcb is a fully ACE certified solution that is a drop in replacement for the old software.

DateDescription
November 17, 2014 No further enhancements: Current and future updates to the CB system did not include any enhancements; only bugfixes for existing issues.
January 1, 2015 Only critical bug fixes:  Current and future updates to the CB system only included bugfixes for critical issues (i.e. system down, or to maintain compliance with Customs ACS specific requirements).
March 31, 2015 End of mainstream support:  Support is only being provided for user account maintenance and critical system failures.  You will need to enroll in an extended-life support agreement by May 29, 2015 if you wish to continue receiving standard support for the system.
October 31, 2015 End of life:  Customs requires all entries to be filed using ACE as of November 1, 2015

ACE Cargo Release statusWhat you really need to know about ACE CR

Cargo release transactions may be sent stand-alone (SE transaction) or as an entry summary (AE transaction) certified for cargo release.  Release corrections may only be transmitted using the SE.

In our current implementation of Cargo Release you will see that the old two step BCS process is no longer available.  The program requires full classification as in the current BCS fully classified feature.

No PGA support

Here’s the bad news:  ACE cargo release currently supports basic release functions but still has no support for ANY OGA or PGA’s.  This is a limitation of ACE itself – not Xtheta’s software.

The good news is that the PGA’s will slowly be phased in over the next 2 months for pilot testing. They should be available for more “general use” after Custom’s ACE release in July.  A lot will depend on PGA port training.

Other limitations

There are several other limitations in the current CBP cargo release process that you should be aware of. 

  • Encrypted Consignees are not supported
  • “Informal” Consignees are not supported so you will need an IRS, Customs Assigned or Social Security number for all consignees regardless of value.
  • RLF is not yet supported and is a subject of much discussion with CBP.
  • BRASS/Line release are not supported yet.

What comes next?Where we’re headed over the next few months

We expect to spend the next 3 months concentrating on PGA’s (the single window). We are working closely with the agencies to help them develop their datasets and move into pilots.  This has involved many hours of weekly phone conferences and follow up meetings. But you may be assured that Xtheta is on the leading edge of this development. We have been selected by FDA to be their initial pilot for drug products.

It will be an interesting year!