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Automated Commercial System and ABI CATAIR

The Automated Commercial System (ACS) is used by CBP to track, control, and process all goods imported into the United States. A key component of ACS is the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) allows qualified participants to electronically file required import data with Customs.

ABI is a voluntary program available to brokers, importers, carriers, port authorities, and independent service centers. Currently, more than 96 percent of all entries filed with CBP are filed through ABI.

CBP is currently working to transition cargo processing to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  ACE is being developed as the primary, modernized system through which the U.S. Government will track, control and process all imported and exported goods.

As CBP processing is transitioned to ACE, the technical requirements for transmitting data to ACE via ABI will be posted on under the ACE webpage.

The CBP and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR) documentation provides complete information describing how importers and/or their agents can become Automated Broker Interface (ABI) participants, as well as how they can provide electronic import information to ABI, and receive transmissions from ABI once they have become a participant.

The CATAIR begins with general information about ABI participation along with instructions on how to become an ABI participant. The main body of the CATAIR consists of the data record formats used for conducting electronic data interchange (EDI) between the participant's computer system and Customs ABI.  The April 2011 version of the CATAIR is the current documentation under which ABI operates; however, since ABI is dynamic, this documentation is subject to change as needed to reflect current system requirements as enhancements are implemented. The "Changes" section provides a record of all additions, deletions and modifications made to the CATAIR since the previous version (July 2004) that have been incorporated in the current version.

It is anticipated that future changes will be reflected in updated versions of individual sections instead of producing a new version of the entire CATAIR document. As usual, all such changes will be appropriately announced in advance via administrative message, (see the Administrative Message section of the CATAIR). A summary of these updates will also be included in the "Changes" section.

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Last published: 
May 17, 2017