There are as many ACE Import Manifest Documentation tyes as there are modes of transport. The documentation for the various modes of transport are transmitted through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  ACE is the Single Window System used by CBP (Customs & Border Protection)

ACE Air eManifest (AMS Air Manifest)

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Open to Service Centers, CBP ABI entry filers, and Deconsolidators

As long as CBP ABI entry filers and deconsolidation have the required Customs bond (type, 1, type 2, and type3), they can send the AMS Air data to CBP. The inbound air carrier is charged with the transmission of the Master AWB shipment documentation.

Once the inbound carrier sends the Master AWB information to CBP, the deconsolidation will receive the Freight Status Notification (FSN) from CBP.  Service Centers such as Customs City Global Solutions allow all ACE Air participants to transmit shipment data to Air AMS if they do not have the technical capacity.


An in-bond will be required for cargo that will be sent to other destinations in the US rather than the port of entry. The CBP will provide authorization for the in-bond movement from Air AMS after receiving the Master AWB  or HAWB info if it includes the In-Bond/Transfer line information.

ACE Ocean eManifest (AMS Ocean Manifest)

To take part in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) ocean manifest program, participants have to produce a SCAC code and have the required bonds.  There are also requirements to file tariff information.

Required Manifest Documentation

Participating service bureau systems, participating carriers, port authorities, and NVOCC will usually send data to the CBP that will then be used to create the electronic manifest.

Once the manifest is received by the CBP, the record is updated with the release information, examination, and entry information. This information is then transmitted to the originators of the data and if designated also the Secondary Notify Party.

Posting of informal and formal entries by the customs broker has to be submitted via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI). Submissions through ABI are automatically routed through the Cargo Selectivity system. The results are then automatically written into the manifest and sent to the carrier and broker. This is also known as the entry linking to the manifest.

ACE Ocean eManifest allows the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to remove or place holds on specific containers, bills of lading, or entire manifests.

ACE Ocean eManifest confers the authority to move goods under bond even if duty or entry has not been paid. This is usually accomplished through the Permit to Transfer (PTT) that allows shipments to be moved within the port such as from a pier to a terminal for examination.

The Permit to Transfer (PTT) may be either posted manually by personnel from the CBP or requested by carriers through the AMS Ocean system.

Transportation entries that setup in bond movements for consignments that are destined for a port different from the port of discharge is also allowed using AMS Ocean Manifest system.

Using the EDI profile that the CBP has on a Service Bureau or Port Authority, the CBP provides a copy of the processed manifest and bill of lading data to the Service Bureau or Port Authority.

Who can Participate in ACE Ocean eManifest Program?

There are several categories of clients that can access the Ocean ACE interface who include:

  • Carriers
  • Vendors
  • Port Authorities
  • Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)
  • Service Bureaus
  • Rail
  • Second Notify Party

To become an ACE Ocean eManifest participant one needs to fulfill a list of requirements set by the CBP that includes:

  1. Completing a Respondent Checklist or writing a letter of intent (LOI)
  2. Establishing a communication protocol
  3. Procurement of Software and Equipment
  4. Fulfill Testing in the Certification Environment
  5. Send Data to CBP using Encryption

ACE Truck eManifest

Truck ACE manifest messages can be sent to CBP using ANSI X12 or EDIFACT to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  These messages include:

  • PAPS- Pre-Arrival Processing System
  • In-Bond
  • Section 321
  • Personal Effects
  • US Goods Returned
  • Intangibles

ACE Truck eManifest

The Rail Manifest documentation is governed by the Manifest Transaction Set 309 which is an ANSI X12 message type.

The transaction set is used by service centers, carriers, port authorities, and terminal operators to provide manifest information on consignments departing or arriving from railroad trains.

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