Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Section 343(a) of the Trade Act of 2002, as amended (Trade Act) (19 U.S.C. 2071 note), requires CBP to promulgate regulations providing for the mandatory transmission of electronic cargo information by way of a CBP-approved electronic data interchange (EDI) system before the cargo is brought into or departs the United States by any mode of commercial transportation (sea, air, rail, or truck). The required cargo information is that which is reasonably necessary to enable high-risk shipments to be identified for purposes of ensuring cargo safety and security and preventing smuggling pursuant to the laws enforced and administered by CBP.
On December 5, 2003, CBP published a final rule in the
In October 2010, the global counter-terrorism community disrupted a potential terrorist attack when concealed explosive devices were discovered in cargo on board aircraft destined for the United States. CBP can better prevent such attacks and strengthen air cargo supply chain security if the required time frame for the presentation of advance electronic cargo information is, in all cases, before the air cargo is loaded and early enough so that CBP has sufficient time to identify, target, and mitigate high-risk cargo. Therefore, CBP and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have collaborated with the private sector to identify strategies to strengthen air cargo supply chain security, including developing a mechanism to collect cargo information at the earliest point practicable in the supply chain.
As a result of this collaboration, in December 2010, four express consignment air courier companies (“express couriers”) volunteered to provide CBP with a subset of the data elements required by 19 CFR 122.48a as early as possible before cargo is loaded onto an aircraft so that the requisite targeting could occur in the pre-loading air cargo environment, thus establishing the ACAS pilot. Since then, three passenger carriers, one-all cargo carrier, and one freight forwarder have joined the ACAS pilot and are operational. As of the summer of 2012, an additional twelve passenger carriers, two all-cargo carriers, and fifteen freight forwarders are in the process of testing or development to become operational ACAS pilot participants or have actively expressed an interest in doing so. CBP is in ongoing communication with stakeholders from all stages of the air cargo supply chain in an effort to enhance ACAS effectiveness and functionality from an industry perspective. In response to a request from stakeholders, on July 27, 2012, CBP published “Air Cargo Advance Screening Pilot Frequently Asked Questions” at
CBP is now formalizing and expanding the pilot to include other eligible participants in the air cargo environment, including other express couriers, passenger carriers, all-cargo carriers, and freight forwarders.
CBP has statutory authority to collect advance electronic cargo information pursuant to the Trade Act, and has implemented this authority in 19 CFR 122.48a. CBP has set forth the procedure for conducting test programs, such as the ACAS pilot, in 19 CFR 101.9.
Under 19 CFR 122.48a, the following advance electronic information is required to be transmitted to CBP for air cargo:
Paragraph (d) of 19 CFR 122.48a specifies, based on the type of shipment, what information the air carrier must transmit to CBP and what information other eligible filers may transmit to CBP. For non-consolidated shipments, the air carrier must transmit to CBP the above cargo information for the air waybill record. For consolidated shipments, the air carrier must transmit to CBP the above cargo information that is applicable to the master air waybill, and the air carrier must transmit a subset of the above information for all associated house air waybills, unless another eligible filer transmits this information to CBP. For split shipments, the air carrier must submit an additional subset of this information for each house air waybill.
As noted above, for any inbound aircraft required to enter under 19 CFR 122.41 that will have commercial cargo aboard, CBP must electronically receive the above information regarding that cargo through a CBP-approved EDI system no later than the time of the departure of the aircraft for the United States from any foreign port or place in North America, including locations in Mexico, Central America, South America (from north of the Equator only), the Caribbean, and Bermuda; or no later than 4 hours prior to the arrival of the aircraft in the United States for aircraft departing for the United States from any other foreign area.
Participants in the ACAS pilot agree to provide a subset of the required 19 CFR 122.48a data elements (ACAS data) at the earliest point practicable before
In the ACAS pilot, participants agree to submit the ACAS data to CBP through a CBP-approved EDI system. While the CBP-approved EDI under 19 CFR 122.48a is Air AMS, ACAS data may be transmitted to CBP as specified below in the section on eligibility requirements. CBP and TSA
CBP is seeking participation from stakeholders in the air cargo environment, including express couriers, passenger carriers, all-cargo carriers, and freight forwarders. There are no restrictions with regard to organization size, location, or commodity type. However, participation is limited to those parties with sufficient information technology infrastructure and support, as described below. Prospective ACAS pilot participants will need to assess whether they can fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
Those interested in participating in the ACAS pilot should submit an email to
Pilot participants will receive technical, operational, and policy guidance through all stages of pilot participation—from planning to implementation—on the necessary steps for the transmission of ACAS data. Therefore, the number of applicants CBP will accept will depend on CBP's technical, fiscal, and personnel capacity to provide the necessary guidance. Once applications are processed, those selected as ACAS pilot participants will be notified by CBP by email.
ACAS pilot participants are to provide the ACAS data to CBP at the earliest point practicable prior to loading of cargo onto the aircraft ultimately destined for or transiting through the United States. In addition to the submission of the ACAS data to CBP, ACAS pilot participants are to: (1) Mitigate, according to TSA screening protocols, any threat which is identified by the NTC; (2) respond promptly with complete and accurate information when contacted by the NTC with questions regarding the data submitted; (3) follow any Do Not Load instructions; and (4) partake in regular teleconferences or meetings established by CBP, when necessary, to ensure any issues or challenges regarding the pilot are communicated and addressed.
Participation in the ACAS pilot does not impose any legally binding obligations on either CBP or TSA or the participant. In addition, CBP does not intend to enforce or levy punitive measures if ACAS pilot participants are non-compliant with these conditions of participation of the pilot.
ACAS pilot participants will send and receive advance security filing data and related action messages for all air cargo to CBP. The ACAS pilot uses messages based on existing industry standard message formats (Cargo-IMP and CAMIR-Air). This will simplify the process for establishing a connection with and transmitting ACAS data to CBP and will increase the likelihood that participants are able to reuse existing system software. While the overall form of the ACAS pilot message formats is similar to the form of the Cargo-IMP and CAMIR-Air message formats on which it is based, the ACAS pilot message formats have slight differences in edits, timing, and new coded values, as needed to accommodate only the necessary data elements.
Currently, three possible filing options have been identified:
ACAS pilot participants are responsible for all costs incurred as a result of their participation in the pilot and such costs will vary, depending on their pre-existing infrastructures. Costs may include carrier communication requirements, such as submission and receipt of data, and the cost of implementing the necessary screening protocols.
While the benefits to ACAS pilot participants will vary, several advantages of joining may include:
• Increases in security by leveraging DHS threat and other data to employ a risk-based approach to improve air cargo security through targeted screening;
• Gains in efficiencies by automating the identification of high risk cargo for enhanced screening before it is consolidated and loaded on aircraft;
• Establishment of mitigation protocols for high-risk shipments;
• The ability to provide input into CBP and TSA efforts to establish, test, and refine the interface between government and industry communication systems for the implementation of ACAS;
• Ensuring a variety of business models are considered in the development and implementation of ACAS;
• Facilitation of corporate preparedness for future mandatory implementation of ACAS submission requirements; and
• Reduction in paper processes related to cargo screening requirements which may increase carrier efficiency.
Participation in the ACAS pilot does not alter the participant's obligations to comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, including 19 CFR 122.48a, and participants will still be subject to applicable penalties for non-compliance. In addition, submission of data under the ACAS pilot does not exempt the participant from TSA security program requirements or any statutory sanctions in the event a controlled substance or other prohibited article is introduced into the United States on a conveyance owned and/or operated by the participant.
The ACAS pilot will run for six months from October 24, 2012. While the pilot is ongoing, the results will be evaluated and a determination will be made as to whether the pilot will be extended. If the pilot is extended, CBP will publish another notice in the