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Washington, D.C. The number of companies certified to file electronic manifests (e-Manifests) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) tripled this week, from 41 to 126 companies. There are currently 113 truck carriers and 15 service bureaus certified to use EDI to file e-Manifests. “This puts adoption of the e-Manifest capability on the fast track and will help ensure smooth operations when we make e-Manifest mandatory later this year,” said CBP Cargo Systems Program Office Executive Director Louis Samenfink. “We are now seeing private industry service providers become certified to file e-Manifests through EDI for their clients, which quickly opens the process to a whole new range of carriers who use third party services to submit their CBP filings.”

The e-Manifest capability is available to truck carriers at all ports using the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the next generation of technology designed to enhance national border security and expedite lawful trade. The U.S. government does not charge fees to file e-Manifests, but carriers may choose to have certified service providers file submissions on their behalf, for a fee determined by the service provider. Certified service bureaus/software developers are listed under “ACE Electronic Truck Manifest Information,”

Time Saving System

ACE e-manifest for trucks is a powerful, time saving tool. Truck carriers can submit an e-Manifest through the web-based ACE Secure Data Portal or via CBP approved Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) procedures. The portal is essentially a customized computer screen similar to a Web site home page that connects CBP, the trade community, and other participating government agencies by providing a single, integrated, on-line access point for communications and information. With a one-screen system, filing is easy and data can be stored and reused, requiring less data entry time for truck carriers. The U.S. government does not charge fees to use the ACE Secure Data Portal, but requires companies to establish accounts to use the portal, for which Internet access is required.

How e-Manifest works

When a truck approaches the primary booth, transponder technology similar to that of a toll-paying device may be used to signal the truck’s arrival. The e-Manifest is automatically retrieved along with the matching pre-filed entries, in-bond requests and other release declarations for the CBP officer to view and process. In addition, by establishing and using an ACE portal account, carriers can track the status of their trips and generate a wide variety of reports. This enables carriers to identify trends to plan future courses of action and achieve better results for their company.

Reap e-manifest advantages now and later

There are currently 44 ACE ports in the states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, and Washington. CBP is working diligently to finish deployment at all 91 land-border ports and encourages truck carriers to establish ACE truck carrier accounts now to ensure smooth border operations when electronic manifests are mandated at all land ports, beginning later this year, on a port-by-port basis. Carriers may contact a broker or service provider to discuss how e-Manifests can be filed. Nearly 2,000 e-Manifests have been filed to date. Eventually ACE will reach all ports and e-Manifest capabilities will be extended to air, rail, and sea cargo processing in the coming years.

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