The Broker Known Importer Program (BKIP) establishes a process for licensed, permitted U.S. Customs Brokers to identify importers in connection with their import related activities. The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) has developed a CBP-approved review list that the customs broker can use to identify eligible clients.
The program allows a licensed customs broker to inform CBP, via the filing of an electronic entry, that the importer listed on the entry is known to the broker, and that the broker has advised the importer of their compliance responsibilities under Customs regulations.  In addition, the broker will have verified the importer’s grasp of its obligations in areas such as entry declarations, ADD/CVD, IPR, valuation and preference programs, through a questionnaire.
CBP will use this information for purposes of cargo risk segmentation.  When a broker identifies an importer who is exercising reasonable care in connection with their imports by checking the BKIP indicator flag on an entry, Customs may adjust that importer’s risk profile in CBP’s targeting system accordingly, even if the importer is not part of the Trusted Trader programs — C-TPAT or ISA. (The BKIP indicator flag for entries has already been deployed as part of ACE.)
BKIP is a voluntary program for both brokers and importers.
BKIP Benefits:
  • New platform for brokers and importers to discuss compliance obligations
  • Potential to increase broker entry accuracy
  • Increased compliance knowledge for importer staff
  • Improved cargo targeting by CBP at time of cargo arrival
  • More information to CBP about importer from a trusted source

Please contact us to further discuss BKIP and schedule a BKIP Interview.

Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Bill Signed Into Law, Setting Implementation Dates

President Obama signed into law Feb. 24 a broad customs reauthorization bill that includes provisions on trade facilitation and enforcement, import safety, intellectual property rights protection, trade remedies, duty-free entry, customs brokers, drawback, trade partnership programs and other topics. Provisions of this legislation include the following:

- As of March 11, the value of goods that may be imported by one person on one day free of duty and tax will be increased from $200 to $800.
- Effective April 25, HTSUS Chapter 9801 will be amended to allow for duty-free returns of previously exported non-U.S. goods and HTSUS Chapter 9802 related to articles exported and returned, or advanced or improved abroad, will be modified.
- Effective Aug. 23, CBP will be required to investigate allegations of antidumping and countervailing duty evasion according to specified procedures.
- CBP must work with the private sector to (a) ensure that agency partnership program participants receive commercially significant and measurable trade benefits and (b) improve its ability to classify and appraise imported goods, improve trade enforcement efforts and further facilitate trade.
- As of Feb. 24, 2018, numerous changes will be made to simplify drawback law, including standardizing the time frames for filing drawback and modernizing the claimant recordkeeping requirements.
- CBP must create minimum standards regarding the identity of importers that will apply in connection with the importation of goods and establish penalties for customs brokers failing to collect the information required.
- No later than Aug. 23, CBP must establish a program that requires bond amounts for new importers to be adjusted based on the level of risk posed to federal revenue.
- Effective March 26, a new program will provide duty preferences to some goods imported from Nepal.
- CBP’s authority to provide unredacted samples and images to intellectual property owners when goods are suspected to be infringing is reaffirmed and made mandatory where CBP determines their examination or testing will help CBP make its decision.
- The residue of bulk cargo contained in instruments of international traffic that are imported into the U.S. customs territory after having previously been exported from U.S. is exempt from duty.
- An interagency import safety rapid response plan must be developed no later than Dec. 31, 2016.
- The “consumptive demand” clause allowing goods believed to be made under forced labor conditions to be imported under certain circumstances will eliminated as of March 10.
- CBP must dedicate resources and personnel to address concerns of illegal honey transshipment.
- The Dec. 31, 2016, deadline for use of the International Trade Data System as the primary means of receiving documentation required for the release of imported cargo and clearance of cargo for export is codified.

For more information on the customs reauthorization bill, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or Ned Steiner at (202) 730-4970.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has ACE Up Its Sleeve

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has ACE Up Its Sleeve
Written by Susan Kohn Ross
What a difference a few days make! Up until Monday, February 8th, it was understood that on February 28th, CBP entries, and those filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) (Lacey Act) would all have to be filed through ACE. Thirteen more PGAs were scheduled to come on-line in July 2016, full implementation for all remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process was scheduled for October 2016 and ACE for all agencies and all purposes would be operational by December 2016.

Then, on Monday February 8, CBP responded to the multitude of concerns expressed by the trade community and other stakeholders and conceded it is better to be safe than sorry, meaning there will be further delays in the deadlines for certain phases to be implemented with the Automated Commercial Environment (“ACE”). Beyond certain elements to be in place at later dates, the most striking change is the complete removal of Food and Drug entries from the timeline. It is expected FDA will be operational in ACE by November 2015, but that is just an estimate and is really cutting it close! 

The February 28, 2016 deadline remains in place but on a much more limited basis. Specifically on that date, CBP will begin to narrow the services available through the legacy Automated Commercial System (“ACS”) to consist of the Client Representative and Technology Service Desk; performing ACS maintenance during peak business hours; and providing processing priority to ACE entries where corresponding ACS entries are still available.

Next comes March 31, 2016 at which time the legacy ACS system gets shut down and ACE becomes the only available vehicle through which to file: electronic entry summaries, associated with the following entry types 01, 03, 11, 23, 51 and 52 [see entry/entry summary type key at end], with no PGA data. Add to that electronic entries and corresponding entry summaries associated with the entry types above, with data for the following agencies: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for Lacey Act, unless paired with other Partner Government Agency (PGA) data, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), unless paired with other PGA data. 

On March 31, 2016 only electronic entries and corresponding entry summaries (01, 03, 11, 23, 51 and 52) with only APHIS Lacey Act or NHTSA data, unless paired with other PGA data on the same transaction, may be filed in ACE.

After that, on May 28, 2016, electronic entries and entry summaries for 01, 03, 11, 23, 51 and 52, to include APHIS Lacey Act and NHTSA data only, unless paired with other PGA data, must be filed in ACE. Which means, these same entry and entry summary types may no longer be filed in ACS.
During Summer 2016 (no specific dates yet) filers will be required to file in ACE and no longer permitted to file in ACS the following transactions: electronic entries and entry summaries, associated with the following entry types, with no PGA data (except for APHIS Lacey Act or NHTSA data) will be deployed and must be filed in ACE, entry types 02, 07, 12, 21 and 22; plus additional entry summary types 11, 31, 32, 34 and 38.

Also during Summer 2016, electronic entries and entry summaries associated with entry types 02, 07, 12, 21, or 22 plus electronic entry summaries associated with entry types 31, 32, 34 or 38 will be able to be filed in ACE. 

As Summer 2016 unfolds, the below listed agencies will become functional in ACE:
  • Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS);
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF);
  • Remaining APHIS data (APHIS Core);
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC);
  • Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA);
  • Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC);
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA);
  • Enforcement and Compliance Commission (E&C);
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS);
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS);
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); and
  • Alcohol and Tobacco, Tax and Tariff Bureau (TTB).
Still unclear are the details regarding deployment of the remaining core trade processing capabilities in ACE, and the mandatory use of ACE for all remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process. For updates about the progress of individual agencies, see

During the transition period, electronic filings will be permitted prior to the mandatory filing requirements in ACE for entry summaries associated with entry types 01, 03, 11, 23, 51, and 52, until March 31, 2016; data for APHIS Lacey Act or NHTSA, until March 31, 2016; entries associated with entry types 01, 03, 11, 23, 51, and 52, until May 28, 2016; and entries and entry summaries associated with entry type 06, until May 28, 2016, when they are all required to be filed in ACE.

And the latest news comes from Census. AESDirect portal at and the AESPcLink application users will have their services migrated on the following schedule:

Prefixes 00-19 on 02/29/2016
Prefixes 20-39 on 03/14/2016
Prefixes 40-59 on 03/28/2016
Prefixes 60-79 on 04/11/2016
Prefixes 80-99 on 04/25/2016

AESWebLink and AESDirect EDI Upload users are not affected by this migration.
The December 2016 implementation date is firm, yet much remains to be accomplished. CBP has clearly listened to the many warnings of what could happen if full ACE implementation is not done in measured steps. The agency should be given credit for understanding the magnitude of this undertaking, as should the PGAs involved. With good reason, there is much concern about what could happen if this rollout turns out catastrophic, so the federal agencies clearly appreciate that measured actions are the wisest course. 

Entry/Entry Summary Type Key: 

01 – Consumption
02 - Consumption - Quota/Visa
03 - Consumption - Antidumping/Countervailing Duty
07 - Consumption - Antidumping/Countervailing Duty and Quota/Visa Combination 
11 - Informal
12 - Informal - Quota/Visa (other than textiles)
21 - Warehouse
22 - Re-Warehouse
23 - Temporary Importation Bond (TIB)
31 - Warehouse Withdrawal Consumption
32 - Warehouse Withdrawal - Quota
34 - Warehouse Withdrawal Antidumping/Countervailing Duty
38 - Warehouse Withdrawal - Antidumping/Countervailing Duty and Quota/Visa
51 - Defense Contract Administration Service Region (DCASR)
52 - Government - Dutiable