E-manifests now available at New York border

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U.S. Customs has installed its Automated Commercial Environment at all New York land border ports. The electronic manifest collection system will become mandatory on a port-by-port basis beginning next year. The goal of ACE, which now operates at all Mexican land border ports and most Canadian border ports, is to improve border security while speeding legitimate trade.

Carriers, importers and brokers who will need to use ACE eventually are encouraged to establish an account now. For more information, send an e-mail. E-filing is free; carriers can file their own e-manifests or hire another entity to file for them.

An electronic data interchange or EDI, an e-commerce tool, also may be used. If companies want to build their own EDI software, Customs requires it be tested for compatibility with the Customs system. Companies also may buy or lease software from EDI software vendors.

There are now 49 ACE ports in Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington. At least 90 days in advance, the public will be notified of the date each port will require the mandatory e-manifest through announcements in the Federal Register. Program details can be found at www.cbp.gov/modernization.