ONESOURCE Automated Broker Interface (ABI)

For US importers, a connection with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a requirement to share the various data elements required to move goods into the US territory. Making this connection requires not only knowing the right format in which to communicate to CBP, but also being able to remain current with all of the new functionality that CBP is offering as part of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) program.

Integration Point Automated Broker Interface (ABI) software provides importers with the tools to connect and share data directly with CBP in both the ACE and ACS environments, while having the ability to track the entire process, leading to stronger compliance and control, resulting in overall cost savings.

Integration Point Automated Broker Interface (ABI) provides filers with an integrated process to quickly connect directly to CBP without a large investment in hardware or other internal resources. When CBP’s communication requirements, documented in the CATAIR, change, Integration Point is automatically updated, collects the newly required information, and then begins transmitting data in the new format to CBP immediately - providing filers with the most up-to-date connection to file their data.

Using Integration Point ABI, importers can connect to CBP in both the ACE and ACS (Automated Commercial System) environments, allowing them to track the entire process, leading to stronger compliance and control, resulting in overall cost savings. Offering importers the ability to pick into which system to file with CBP at an entry level, allows those who have been hesitant to begin filing into ACE or who have products that do not qualify for ACE filing, to start the process slowly and ease into the transition. Integration Point customers who have transitioned into ACE have discovered all of the benefits that it offers; and with the future enhancements that CBP is offering such as Document Imaging System (DIS) and Simplified Entry, there is even more incentive for companies to move over to the ACE platform.

As an ACE Certified Provider, Integration Point offers its customers the ability to file entries and In-Bond transactions directly with CBP. Integration Point ABI software takes the necessary data such as advanced manifest and product information for the Importer Security Filing (10+2) or imported products and related duty, taxes and fee information on the CBP Form 7501, and melds it into the required format designated by CBP before submission takes place. In addition, Integration Point continues to offer ACS filing for those entry types not yet accepted into ACE, including 7501-06 Summaries and Drawback.

As part of the Integration Point Global Trade Management platform, companies can easily utilize other Integration Point products such as 10+2, Entry Verification, Global Trade Content, Free Trade Agreements and Global Classification to manage the entire importing exporting process in one single, web-based solution. Additionally, Integration Point ABI allows filers to send the following documents directly to CBP:

  • 3461/7501 Entry Filings — Performs necessary actions to collect data on foreign goods entering the US commerce and files either the one-step process of certifying on summary or two-step entry and then entry summary procedure
  • Electronic Bonded Movement — Handles all types of In-Bond movements, including QP/WP, while reducing costs and shipment processing time
  • e214 — Processes receipts into an FTZ and files the e214 for all FTZ Admissions as well as the electronic Permit to Transfer (ePTT)
  • ACH Payment & Query — Allows ABI filers to pay Customs duties, taxes and fees in one transaction, then provides the ability to query the account for payment history
  • Importer Security Filing (ISF) or 10+2 — Collects the necessary data from various supply chain sources into a single format and identifies discrepancies before transmitting to CBP
  • Drawback - Collects the necessary data from various components and captures results in a single location, allowing companies to validate or identify discrepancies before transmitting to CBP
What is Automated Broker Interface (ABI)?

The Automated Broker Interface or ABI program came about in the early 80's as a way to electronically connect importers and US Customs & Border Protection (CBP). Using ABI, importers, or their agents, can transmit data to and receive data from CBP regarding the importation of goods into the US. The catch with the ABI program is that the data must be submitted in a Customs-approved format — all of which can be found in the CATAIR, a definition document outling specific data and system requirements to be used by importers when communicating with CBP. ABI filers can choose to use any computer hardware system to use for this connection, but they are responsible for all the equipment and software, and must ensure that the communications protocol as defined in the CATAIR is followed.

Features of Automated Broker Interface (ABI)

Some of the features of ABI are:

  • Cargo Release — Available to operational entry summary filers when entry summary data is unavailable or summary data is not desired, this feature allows for data to be transmitted to Customs prior to the arrival of goods and errors can be corrected via ABI before the CBP Form 7501 is filed
  • One Stop Quota — Allows ABI participants to transmit CBP Forms 3461 and 7501 data through ABI and send directly to an assigned import specialist to reduce the time from entry filing to when the goods are released
  • OGA Interface — Communication with other government agencies (OGAs) is done electronically and eliminates the need for paper copies to be filed with various agencies
  • Statement Processing — Pay multiple ABI entry summaries with one check or payment transaction, and then view a generated statement of summaries to review for additions or deletions before filing the final statement with Customs
  • Electronic Payment — Use the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) to directly pay Customs for fees, duties or taxes via an electronic transaction
  • Drawback Claims — Submit drawback claims to Customs via ABI to ensure the data is quickly and accurately recorded in ACS, resulting in faster processing and issuance of payment
  • Administrative Messages — Allows for Customs to communicate directly with ABI participants on an individual, specific port, or general basis
Benefits of Automated Broker Interface (ABI)

The benefits of participating in the ABI program, according to the CBP website, include:

  • Expedited cargo release
  • Electronic transmission, validation, confirmation, and correction for entry summaries
  • Payment options such as daily statement and electronic payment through ACH
  • Validated duties, taxes, and fees
  • Interactive communication with Customs
  • Courtesy notices of liquidation, extension, and suspension
  • Consolidated reports under the National Importer Liquidation Program
  • Error statistics available monthly
  • Timely tariff updates
  • Query capabilities
  • Uniform entry summary processing
Who can participate in ABI?

Any company in any industry that imports goods into the US should be participating in ABI. Various supply chain partners that participate in the movement of goods into the US Commerce should also participate in ABI. According to the CBP website, the following are considered ABI participants:

  • Importers
  • Brokers
  • Carriers
  • Port Authorities
  • Service Centers
  • Law Firms
  • Surety companies

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