AMS or Automated Manifest System is the name of the CBP system that processes air manifest information for security purposes.  The CBP system has been recently updated and is also known as Air ACE or Automated Commercial Environment.

All air carriers landing at US airports with commercial cargo are required to file manifest details into the Air AMS system at least 4 hours before the arrival of the aircraft.  For flights of less than 4 hours, the time of AMS Air submission should be at “wheels up” or when the aircraft departs the last foreign airport of departure.

The Air AMS (eManifest details) include the following:

  • AMS Air bill type:
    • Master (for shipment consolidations)
    • Simple
    • House
  • AWB prefix
  • AWB #
  • Airline IATA or ICAO code
  • Flight #
  • The airline terminal operator
  • Airport of Origin
  • 1st US airport of arrival
  • Arrival date
  • Nominated Agent (if the airline is not providing the HAWB details)
  • Shipper & Consignee
  • FDA indicator (yes/no)
  • Piece count
  • Weight (LBS or KGS)
  • Package tracking #
  • Cargo Description
  • Marks & numbers

Additionally, the airline must submit an FDM (Flight Departure Message) at the time of departure at the last foreign airport before the arrival in the US.  The details in the FDM include the following:

  • Airline IATA or ICAO code
  • Flight #
  • Date of arrival
  • Liftoff date
  • Liftoff time

What Other Parties May Voluntarily Transmit AMS Air House Airway Bill (HAWB) Details?

The following parties may transmit ACE Air (AMS Air) details directly to CBP:

  • Importer or customs brokers identified by an ABI filer code. These parties must also have an importer bond.  **Please note that if the customs broker provides the AMS Air data this same broker can also create an informal or formal entry if required.  Or another customs broker may also create the informal or formal entry**
  • Warehouse or CFS (Container Freight Station)
  • Express Consignment Carrier Facility (ECCF)

The benefits of these parties providing the data directly to CBP include the following:

  • Ensuring the confidentiality of customer data including shipper & consignee which is at the house level on the AWB
  • Request in bond authorizations (transfers) at the HAWB level
  • CFS & ECCF receive electronic notifications of FSN (Freight Status Notifications) of cargo in their warehouse with relation to any cargo held by CBP and requiring inspection or when the cargo is released and the last mile carrier may pick it up

Can a Freight Forwarder submit HAWB Data Directly to CBP?

No, a freight forwarder can not participate to submit the HAWB data directly to CBP.  Only a freight forwarder that also acts as a customs broker, CFS or ECCF may participate in the AMS Air program.

How to Get Started Filing AMS Air Data Directly to CBP?

The first step is to make sure you are one of the parties above who is eligible to join the AMS Air program.  The second step is to complete the CBP LOI (letter of intent).  A copy of the LOI may be downloaded here.

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