ACE Timeline

December 1993 - President Clinton signs Customs Modernization Act of 1993 into law, which lays the framework and funding to modernize electronic customs data.

April 2001 - U.S. Customs Service starts modernization of operational processes and develops new technology infrastructure intended to streamline import/export operations for all transportation modes.

February 2002 - The Customs Electronic Systems Action Council (CESAC) starts research and pilot programs intended to create a prototype framework for electronic-data-exchange (EDI) processing.

April 2003 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the first phase of their web portal design.

June 2004 - CBP's ACE Portal expands to include 150 importers and customs broker accounts, allowing specific customs data to be transmitted via EDI.

January 2005 - CBP's ACE Portal expands testing to include non C-TPAT participants, and increases usage to nearly 500 private participants and other Participating Government Agencies (PGAs).

October 2005 - Northern and southern U.S. ports of entry start accepting truck manifests through ACE.

November 2006 - Period of informed ACE manifest compliance begins for trucks crossing into the U.S.

April 2007 - CBP makes ACE manifest mandatory for trucks crossing into the United States.

ACE Manifest Requirements

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is U.S. Customs and Border Protection's electronic manifest program. It is intended to facilitate trade while strengthening border security. Since 2007, highway carriers have had to comply with ACE Manifest requirements when bringing goods into the United States by filing an ACE Manifest at least one hour prior to arrival at the border. For more information on ACE guidelines, refer to the following ACE Manifest Training Resources from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

ACE Program Overview

ACE is the backbone of CBP's trade processing and risk management activities and provides a single, centralized access point to connect CBP, Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) and the trade community.

ACE Requirements for Trucks

Under ACE Manifest regulations trucks must ensure that BOTH the ACE Manifest and the entry number by the customs broker (for PAPS shipments) are on file with CBP for at least one hour prior to the driver's arrival at the border. Failure to do so could result in delays at the border, refused entry into the U.S. and/or an penalty action.

For more information on CBP Penalties Program:

ACE Manifest Arrival Requirements

When arriving at the border in the United States, the driver must present customs paperwork (ie customs invoice and/or Bill of Lading) with a legible trip number or shipment control number. Although CBP officers capture the trip information from the truck licence plate, a PAPS barcode and/or barcoded ACE lead sheet can expedite the border processing time and also helps the officer to bring up the ACE Manifest in their system.

BorderConnect ACE Manifest Leadsheet

The officer will then verify the information is correct, and it is their discretion to move the driver to secondary inspection or not for further verification. CBP officers do not stamp paperwork upon release of the shipment, and the only way to prove that a shipment was released with CBP is to use a signed proof of delivery document.

ACE Manifest lead sheets can be generated from within BorderConnect, either from the manifest or as a set ahead of time. The carrier can also design and produce their own lead sheets.

Above - ACE Manifest leadsheet printed from BorderConnect.

ACE Manifest Requirements for Section 321 Shipments

A Section 321 is a U.S. Shipment Type for goods to clear through U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is a type of entry that allows for the release at the border of shipments valued at 800 U.S. dollars or less.

To qualify for Section 321 release a shipment must not exceed 800 U.S. dollars in value and must not be one of several lots covered by a single order or contract, the value of which would exceed $800. CBP may also refuse to release a shipment as Section 321 when taking into account risk considerations that may vary for different classes or kinds of merchandise.

As of January 1, 2019 highway carriers entering the U.S. with Section 321 shipments are required to file an ACE eManifest for that truck.

Declaring a Section 321 Shipment Using BorderConnect ACE Manifest Software

BorderConnect Section 321 Page

Entering a Section 321 shipment in BorderConnect.

To report a Section 321 the carrier will need to create an ACE Shipment with the Shipment Type "Section 321" and ensure that the shipment is transmitted on their ACE eManifest. The example below shows how to report Section 321 shipments using BorderConnect's ACE eManifest software.

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Using BorderConnect Shipment Upload Feature

BorderConnect Section 321 Page

Uploading high volume of shipments into BorderConnect.

The BorderConnect CSV upload feature is designed for users who have a significant amount of shipments on a single trip. A popular way to complete an ACE eManifest for Section 321 shipments, the BorderConnect CSV upload feature is designed for users who have a significant number of shipments on a single trip and have a way to generate data files for those shipments.

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How To Upload Shipments Into BorderConnect

Before uploading your .csv file, you will need to download the .csv template file that BorderConnect provides. The headers in this file must remain intact and un-modified as they are required for the upload to be successful. When saving your file, you will need to make sure that it is saved in CSV format, even if you are using a spreadsheet program to edit the file. Only CSV file format can be used for this feature.

Download BorderConnect CSV Template: Click here to download

Importing CSV Document

Once you have the CSV file populated with data in the correct format and your company has enabled the ACE shipment import buttons, you can then import the shipments. To import the CSV file you must first start a new ACE Manifest or edit an existing ACE Manifest. Then, click the button "Choose File" to navigate locally and select the .csv file you would like to upload. Once the file is selected, click 'Save' on the top left.

You will be brought to the ACE Manifest details page where a notice will let you know if the upload was successful, and/or if any errors in the import were found. Next to the import button you will see that this button is for JSON files, but CSV files will also be accepted.

Information contained in this page is generated from the BorderConnect Support Wiki

Shipment Release Types Required for ACE Manifest

The following shipment types are used for goods entering United States via highway carrier:

PAPS - default shipment type for commercial goods entering the U.S., allows pre-clearance of goods.
In-Bond - allows for inland movement of goods that are not considered 'released' by CBP.
Section 321 - allows for import of goods valued under 800 USD.
IIT - used for empty racks and containers that cross the border in international transportation.
ATA Carnet - type of temporary import.
BRASS - type of pre-clearance, can only be used by FAST-approved drivers. (phasing out)
Personal Shipment - used when non-commercial goods are transported by highway carriers.
Free of Duty - used for duty free merchandise not exceeding 2000 USD in value.
Returned American Products - type of informal entry that allows for the release of shipments of products of the United States being returned.
Goods Astray - used for the return to the U.S. of refused or undeliverable shipments or goods brought into Canada accidentally.
International Mail - used to report shipments of mail moving from a foreign postal service to the U.S. Postal Service.
Intangibles - used for the release of certain specific commodities including business records and articles returned from space.

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