U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has spent several years running a pilot program for air import shipments called Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS).

ACAS has evolved from a voluntary pilot to a mandatory filing that requires air carriers to send and receive advance security filing data for airfreight through CBP’s Automated Targeting System. The program is currently live and CBP has announced that penalties begin on June 11, 2019.

CBP’s goal with the pilot is to strengthen its capability to target high-risk cargo earlier in the supply chain and provide an opportunity for members of the air cargo community to participate and prepare for eventual regulatory changes.  Pilot participants from the air cargo community are in the process of testing via the pilot program.

ACAS was designed to provide CBP with data concerning the parties and commodities involved in air cargo /prior to loading on an aircraft at a foreign port/airport.  With information about inbound air shipments further back in the supply chain, CBP will be able to better identify high-risk shipments into the United States. The ACAS pilot project was created in response to attempted terrorist threats discovered in October 2010.  CBP determined that it could strengthen air cargo security if electronic cargo information was transmitted prior to loading at a foreign port.  This is an additional security requirement that goes one-step beyond post-departure Air AMS.

CBP has made it clear that it intends to issue a regulation to require advance data submission to ACAS for all international shipments either destined for or travelling through the United States. The final regulation requires timely submission of ACAS data prior to consolidation and loading the cargo on an aircraft will be required. The sooner the information is submitted, the sooner screening or Do Not Load (DNL) messages can be communicated.

The following seven data elements are required for ACAS:

    * House Airway bill (AWB) number
    * Message sender
    * Shipper name and address
    * Consignee name and address
    * Weight
    * Piece count
    * Description of goods

There are currently several methods to file ACAS: 1) the air carrier can make a Single Air AMS / ACAS Filing or 2) the Air Forwarder and Carrier can make a Dual Filing (they each file). 

With the single air carrier filing, the air carrier transmits advance shipment data for security filing while subsequently transmitting post-departure Automated Manifest System (AMS) data in accordance with Trade Act requirements. Air carriers transmit the AMS information to CBP prior to loading cargo, and perform all required screening. The pre-loading AMS transmission would be used by CBP to satisfy both ACAS and AMS requirements.

In a freight forwarder / air carrier dual filing, the freight forwarder may transmit House Air Waybill data directly to CBP to meet pre-loading targeting and manifest requirements. Both the forwarder and the carrier receive ACAS responses prior to consolidation and delivery to air carriers. Air carriers accept forwarder cargo for transport after confirming the successful ACAS transmission, and perform any required screening.

Trade Tech ACAS Solution

Trade Tech has a history of providing ocean and air security filing solutions and is currently in the process of developing an ACAS filing solution.  The Trade Tech solution allows air carriers and air forwarders/Indirect Air Carriers  a compliant solution to address the filings in an economical manner.   

The mandatory requirement for ACAS will be an important development for Trade Tech.  The ACAS filing will allow the air freight forwarder/ Indirect Air Carriers to manage its own filings.  In the current filing scenario, the air freight forwarder/ Indirect Air Carriers cannot file on its own and has to rely on the actual airplane operator. 

Trade Tech’s customers who currently handle air freight will be able to make their filings through Trade Tech.  As with ocean AMS, ISF and the others, the air freight forwarder will be able to pay Trade Tech a fee for the filing.  The Trade Tech fee is less than what the airlines charge to make the filing. 

Contact your Trade Tech representative today to sign up for ACAS filing through Trade Tech.

Posted by Ethan on 05/30 at 03:44 PM in