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  4. How To Use The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)

How to Use the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)

ACE is the U.S. electronic Single Window platform for all trade processing, including all Manifest, Cargo Release, Post-release, Export and Partner Government Agency (PGA) data. Trade users can access ACE via two channels:

  1. The ACE Secure Data Portal (ACE Portal): a free, web-based access point designed to connect CBP, trade partners and partner government agencies
  2. ACE Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): a communication framework that provides standards for exchanging data via electronic means

Deciding on which ACE access method is needed depends on the specific trade activity. Review the information below to determine what is needed to successfully connect with ACE.

Activity ACE via EDI Interfaces ACE Portal
Send Importer Security Filing Data  
File an Import Air, Ocean, or Rail Manifest  
File an Import Truck Manifest
File an Electronic In-bond ✓ (via Truck Manifest)
File an Entry  
File an Entry Summary  
File an E214  
File a Protest  
File Liquidations, Reconciliations or Drawback requests  
Run Reports  
Create Blanket Declarations  
Submit Supporting Documents for Cargo Release (CBP and PGA Forms) ✓ (via DIS*)  
Submit Supporting Documents for Entry Summary (CBP and PGA Forms) ✓ (via DIS*)  
Respond to Request for Documents (e.g., CBP Forms 28, 29, 4647) ✓ (via DIS*)
Manage Account and Periodic Monthly Statement Information
Manage Account and Daily Statement Information
Make Post-summary Corrections  
File Export Air, Ocean and Rail Manifest Pilots in Progress!  
File & Export Commodity Data
Manage In-bond Authorizations  

*Document Image System

The ACE Secure Data Portal

The ACE Secure Data Portal (ACE Portal) is a web-based entry point for ACE. It provides a centralized online access point to connect CBP, the trade community and government agencies involved in importing goods into the United States.

How to get started

In order to use the ACE Portal, companies must first submit an application for approval. Additional details are available in the links below:

The ACE Portal provides account holders the ability to:

  • Receive, respond to, and monitor CBP Forms 28, 29, 4647,
  • Access AD/CVD case management and message information database,
  • Identify and evaluate compliance issues,
  • Store employee, driver, conveyance, and equipment record information,
  • Create entry number banks for border line release,
  • Set up payment options,
  • Review and respond to filings,
  • Create blanket declarations for entry summary processing and nationwide view,
  • Access reports tool to compile data and perform national trend analysis.

Report Types

ACE Portal users have access to reports. By running targeted reports to conduct in-house audits, identify systemic errors and provide insight into entries under review by CBP, all in support of improved compliance with trade laws.

CBP provides the following predefined reports.

Management Aggregate and detail cargo entry and entry summary reports for ACS and ACE filled summaries, compliance reports, etc.
Authorized Data Extract Extract reports that can be scheduled to run with up to 2,000,000 rows of data provided.
Entry Summary Reports filed for ACE Entry Summaries with the exception of the CBP Form 28, 29, 4647 which includes both ACE and ACS-filed summaries.
Multi-Modal Manifest In-bond reports
Reference UN Location and Firms Codes
Exporter Exporter reports

Users can create customized reports in addition to those outlined above. A series of guides and videos, on the ACE Training page provide support for using ACE Reports capabilities.


Visit the United States Census Bureau site on ACE AESDirect. The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) AESDirect is the primary filing tool for submitting your Electronic Export Information (EEI) to the Automated Export System (AES). When a filer submits their EEI, AES will process the information and, if accepted, respond with an Internal Transaction Number (ITN).

ACE Portal System Requirements

If trade users are using Internet Explorer, access to the modernized ACE Portal functionality may be limited. Alternatively, Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome enable access to all features.

ACE Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is an electronic communication system that provides standards for exchanging data via any electronic means. In order to transmit data to CBP systems via EDI, filers must test with CBP to ensure all programming is correct and that their systems are able to send data to and receive data from CBP. To set up a test with CBP, please review the Transmitting Data via EDI webpage and follow the steps provided. Below please find additional information on filing data via EDI for various types of transactions.


ACE Outage Schedules

There are two ACE environment available to the trade - Certification (CERT) and Production.

  • The production environment is the day-to-day live ACE environment used to process import and export submissions.
  • The certification environment is for trade users to test ACE capabilities prior to filing in the production environment.

Both environments are subject to both planned and unplanned outages. Planned outages are scheduled to conduct routine maintenance, while unplanned outages are to address critical system issues. Outages to the ACE Certification environment only impact parties testing software.

Certification environment Outage Window(s):

  • As Needed during non-business hours (i.e. from 5:30 PM - 8:30 AM)

Production environment Outage Window(s):

  • Tuesday 5 AM - 7 AM - outage should be no more than 30 minutes
  • Thursday 5 AM - 7 AM - outage should be no more than 30 minutes
  • Saturday 10 PM - Sunday 4 AM - used for outages expected to be more than 30 minutes

System outages are announced through the Cargo Systems Messaging Service. To subscribe, please visit the CSMS subscription page.

ACE Portal Resources

Last Modified: Apr 11, 2024