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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

APHIS Announces End Date for Automated Commercial Environment Pilot Testing

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WASHINGTON, July 18, 2016—The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that it will conclude its pilot testing of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) new Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) on August 15, 2016. 

ACE is part of a larger government-wide initiative known as the International Trade Data System (ITDS).  CBP serves as the clearinghouse for trade information required by 48 government agencies, and ITDS’ goal is to eliminate paper-based processes by allowing companies and customs brokers to electronically submit their information through ACE.  This “single window” for trade will eliminate redundancy, dramatically reduce paper usage and operational costs, and facilitate faster and more efficient processing of imports.

Importers who are ready or nearly ready to pilot test in ACE should contact APHIS at before August 15th. In order to participate in the pilot, companies and brokers must first implement software in their systems to allow data exchange with CBP. Filers must then test their data exchange system with CBP to confirm that they are able to send and receive information.  To learn more about getting started in ACE, please visit the Getting Started with CBP Automated Systems page on the CBP Web site. 

Filers who participate in the pilot testing receive one-on-one support from APHIS’ implementation team to ensure your system is ready to submit Agency-required import data. After August 15th, our implementation team will still be able to provide assistance, but our resources will be more limited as we work to complete other aspects of the ACE transition.

Please visit the APHIS ITDS Web page for information about APHIS’ transition to ACE. You can also sign up for the ITDS topic on APHIS’ Stakeholder Registry to receive important and timely information that will help you become ACE ready.

This notice was published in today’s Federal Register and is available for review at:!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0063.

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