Customs ACE Transition Frequently Asked Questions

As Customs and the other government agencies get closer to the full implementation of the single-window environment known as ACE, U.S. importers have questions on how this will impact their import shipments. This guidance provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions regarding the U.S. ACE Transition.

What is the ACE?

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is the trade processing system through which Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its partner government agencies are implementing the single window for processing imports and exports. 

What is the Single Window?

The Single Window initiative is the effort to create a single system, so that multiple paper processes can be eliminated and importers and exporters will only have to file information once, to one system. Through ACE, manual processes will be streamlined and automated and paper will be largely eliminated which will result in a more efficient, paperless entry process.


What are the benefits of an ACE?

  • Quicker data availability for government
  • Better identification of dangerous or prohibited shipments
  • Automated agency interactions
  • Reduced paper (a paperless environment)
  • Near real-time decision making for government
  • Easier for industry to comply with regulations


How will ACE impact importers?

Once fully implemented, ACE will benefit Importers by making the entry of goods easier and more efficient. Importers or their brokers will be able to submit required documentation electronically through the ACE Document Image System (DIS) once fully functional.

Will ACE require importers of FDA regulated items such as drugs, APIs or devices to provide any additional documentation?


No, the implementation of ACE will not trigger additional import requirements for FDA regulated products. Importers will continue to provide the same information and documentation they have always provided.  

However, ACE will change the way brokers submit entry data to Customs and FDA. In some cases brokers will need to provide newly required data elements. As a result, brokers may ask importers to elaborate on information provided to the broker such as a product’s intended use, description, manufacturer, product codes, and affirmation of compliance.

For example, ACE will require brokers to submit an intended use code for the import FDA regulated products. While importers have always been required to provide an intended use letter, brokers may ask importers to elaborate on a products intended use so they can determine and report the correct intended use code to be used in ACE.

Questions can sent to Marken’s trade compliance team at

Back to Index