Recent Trade & Tariff Perspectives

March 23, 2022  |  Sarah Stock  Senior Trade Policy Advisor

warehouse worker scanning barcode on a shipment 

Introducing the Navisphere ACE Import Intelligence Tool from C.H. Robinson—and Why It’s Important to Leverage ACE

When it comes to import and export compliance in today’s world, it may seem that the stakes are getting higher all the time. With increasing enforcement efforts by U.S. government agencies, potential liquidated damages, and penalties at risk—it can feel daunting to monitor all your company’s import and export compliance transactions.

Check out the video below to hear how the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Portal can assist you. If your company is already leveraging ACE, then jump to the 4:40 mark within the video to learn how the C.H. Robinson Navisphere® ACE Import Intelligence Tool can further support your use of that data.


The value of the ACE web portal

ACE is the system used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) that reports and exchanges data relating to both import and export transactions. The ACE portal allows importers and exporters the ability to actively monitor the information that is being submitted to the U.S. government to ensure accuracy, to take action when corrections are required, and to exercise reasonable care. Whether your company uses authorized filers or acts as a self-filer for your import and export transactions, ongoing monitoring is the key to ensuring compliance.

While the hope is to avoid any liquidated damages or penalties for violations, companies can also use ACE to implement best practices.

What is ACE modernization?

Though the information provided via ACE has been available for quite some time, users have reported spotty or sluggish performance at times. To improve upon the performance and the features available, CBP has officially kicked off its modernization efforts.

We are currently in Phase 1 of the deployment schedule, which includes a new login page, new home page, and retirement of the legacy ACE portal login page. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in Spring 2022, includes features such as document upload and management, in-bond authorization, blanket declarations, and a link to a new CBP forms application.

More information on new and improved features will continue to be shared from CBP via its webpage and via webinars hosted by CBP. Current ACE users should continue to watch for these updates.

How should you use ACE?

The data available in ACE can help support import compliance and proactively address entry concerns that are identified. In addition, importers can use ACE to identify cost-saving opportunities and to monitor key data to support supply chain security, such as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). Just some of the key data that should be monitored for import transactions include:

  • Watching for unauthorized entry filers
  • Ensuring accuracy of merchandise classification and new classifications being applied
  • Correct application of the “Related Party Indicator” upon entry
  • Monitoring for new suppliers that are introduced into the supply chain
  • Proper declaration of Special Program Indicators (SPIs) for preferential trade programs
  • The impact of provisional tariff programs, such as Section 301 on goods of Chinese origin
  • Accurate declaration of the country of origin
  • Monitoring duty spend to identify new sourcing opportunities

ACE should be used to support export compliance, as well. Reviewing accuracy of each Electronic Export Information (EEI) is just as important to avoid errors and violations. Common errors identified often include:

  • Ensuring that your company is properly declared as the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI)
  • Correct application of the domestic/foreign indicator for the merchandise
  • Correct declaration of the HTS or Schedule B number for each line item
  • Ensuring that the country of ultimate destination and ultimate consignee is declared properly, as well as those goods that are not shipped in violation of U.S. export laws
  • Understanding routed vs. non-routed export transactions
  • Declaration of the proper ECCN and licensing information, when applicable

These recommendations are certainly not exhaustive. There is a plethora of data available in ACE, including reports that are already designed and available to support compliance activities.

Navisphere ACE Import Intelligence is now available

C.H. Robinson’s Trade Policy team has developed Navisphere ACE Import Intelligence, which is our newest business analytics tool specifically designed to support our clients’ compliance programs. Currently, Navisphere ACE Import Intelligence is available for import data only, though development for exports is underway.

Our team has built this tool based on our experience regarding those areas of scrutiny, common errors that occur on customs entries, and those topics that we know are of interest to individuals responsible for trade compliance. This tool takes your data and provides it in an intuitive and visual format. Data is pre-sorted into specific tabs, including but not limited to:

  • HTS classification
  • Manufacturers
  • Entry filers
  • Special Program Indicators
  • Provisional tariffs
  • New items

The key benefit of this tool is a weekly refresh based on your company’s import data from ACE. Our Trade Policy team can provide you with user-friendly instructions to get started. Whether your company has an established import compliance program, or is looking to kickstart a program, Navisphere ACE Import Intelligence can provide impactful information to monitor your data efficiently.

How can C.H. Robinson help?

Please reach out to your local C.H Robinson office if your company requires assistance in applying for an ACE Account. The C.H. Robinson Trade Policy team can also guide you on the next steps in using our Navisphere ACE Import Intelligence Tool to make your ACE import data even more impactful. Connect with one of our trade policy experts to learn more.



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