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Automated Commercial System (ACS) and Automated Broker Interface (ABI) CATAIR

ACS is used by CBP to track, control, and process all goods imported into the United States. A key component of ACS is the ABI, which 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.

Getting Started

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.


The ACS CATAIR documents are no longer being updated. If you cannot find the chapter that you are looking for on this page, an equivalent chapter may be available as an ACE CATAIR chapter. Functionality that is not transitioned to ACE and is no longer available in ACS will have the chapters removed from this page.

Last modified: 
November 29, 2018