Half of border crossings now equipped for ACE technology

| 8/7/2006

About half of the border-crossing points between the U.S. and its neighbors to the north and south are now equipped with ACE technology, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Automated Commercial Environment allows truckers and companies to send cargo data to border agents via an electronic manifest prior to crossing the border into the United States.

Forty-four border crossings out of a total of 91 are now equipped to process ACE e-manifests, CBP announced.

“We're working with a variety of people, including truckers, to make the thing as user friendly as possible,” Louis Samenfink, CBP Cargo Systems Program Office executive director told Land Line back in March. “We're anticipating later this year that we're going to mandate it.”

Since no mandate has been set to this point, ACE remains voluntary for truckers and carriers to use to enhance security and shorten border wait times.

Approximately 1,500 motor carriers have signed up for ACE, and 10,000 e-manifests have been processed to date, Samenfink wrote in a recent CBP newsletter.

Samenfink told Land Line that ACE will save time and money in processing cargo as it crosses the border – much like the Free and Secure Trade program, a program for driver background checks.

ACE is described by Customs as the “next generation of CBP processing technology designed to facilitate legitimate trade while enhancing border security.”

Border states equipped with ACE at some or all of their crossing points include Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington.

U.S. Customs added ACE technology since June to several New York crossings including Champlain, Mooers, Rouses Point, Overton's Corner and Cannon Corners.

U.S. Customs has also announced the Aug. 31 implementation of FAST lanes in the northern border cities of Massena, NY; Ogdensburg, NY; Oroville, WA; and Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Both systems work with transponder technology at the border crossings.

– By David Tanner, staff writer