Protocol for crossing the border with ACE

| 5/24/2006

If you use ACE, or Automated Commercial Environment, and e-manifests as part of your procedures for crossing the border – currently voluntary for truckers and shippers – you should be aware of a new U.S. requirement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued an information notice on Tuesday, May 23, asking people who currently use ACE to follow a specific procedure when filing ACE documents.

After an e-manifest is filed in advance to customs, a truck driver must possess U.S. Customs and Border Protection Form 7533 or a cover sheet in 22-point type containing the trip number and Standard Carrier Alpha Code to cross the border without hassle.

ACE is similar to Free and Secure Trade, FAST, and Pre-Arrival Processing System, PAPS, and will likely be mandatory for trucks at all border crossings later this year. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is still phasing it in and equipping border crossings with the technology.

ACE allows shippers and truck drivers to pay border fees through an automated transponder system while letting customs agents know electronically what is being shipped.

Although the ACE program continues to grow, and more companies and truckers get on board, a number of truckers might still be in the dark about what they will need in the future to cross the border.

Third-party companies are popping up in an effort to assist truckers and companies with filing their ACE electronic documents. Keep checking back with Land Line for updates.

By David Tanner, staff writer