ACE Protest Frequently Asked Questions
On December 9, 2020, CBP provided the trade community a webinar covering topics specific to protests (19 U.S.C. 1514). The webinar topics included Trade Remedy protests, selected protest topics such as submission and amending, Application for Further Review (AFR), Center of Excellence and Expertise (Center) submission best practices, and Accelerated Disposition & Court of International Trade (CIT) filings. These FAQs were created from questions asked during the webinar. Below, a new section for the Protest Webinar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Yes, the recording of the webinar, along with the slide presentation is posted at the following link: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/stakeholder-engagement/webinars
Liquidation extension requests should be submitted to the Center of Excellence and Expertise (Center) that the entry was filed through; the following link is the Center Directory website: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/centers-excellence-and-expertise-information/cee-directory
Liquidation can be extended in one year increments, not to exceed three years under 19 C.F.R. 159.12.
A 514 Protest can be filed with CBP within 180 days after liquidation of the entry under protest, under 19 U.S.C. 1514(c)(3).
CBP accepts protest submitted in the ACE Protest Module, as well as in paper form. The filer can choose the means at their discretion, however submitting through the ACE Protest Module allows for more visibility of the status of the protest.
Is the 10MB file size limit for protest attachments applicable to the entire submission, regardless of the number of attachments, or does it apply to each individual uploaded file/attachment?
The 10MB file size concerns individual files, not the combined size of all uploaded files; no file larger than 10MB can be uploaded into the ACE Protest Module.
Yes, when creating a protest in the ACE Protest Module multiple entries can be associated with the same protest.
Yes, when filing a protest through the ACE Protest Module entries filed at multiple ports can added to the same protest. However, protests filed in paper form must be submitted to the Port of Entry where the entry under protest was filed.
No, original and/or revised CBP Form 7501s are not required for protest filed in the ACE Protest Module or in paper form, UNLESS, the underlying entry(s) were not filed through the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), i.e. non-electronically filed entries.
Can documents be submitted via the Document Imaging System (DIS) for a protest or must the documents be uploaded to the ACE Protest Module?
When creating a protest, or uploading documents after the creation of a protest, the documents must be uploaded to the ACE Protest Module. The reviewing Center will not search DIS for associated documents.
If the Center reviewing a protest requests additional information via email is it acceptable to provide the required information/documentation by responding to the email or must it be uploaded thru the Protest Module?
Ideally both, responding to the email request through email with the requested documents is accepted. You should ensure that the receiving Center uploads the requested documents to the protest to complete the protest record.
If CBP denies a protest due to insufficient information/documentation what options does the Protestant have?
Once a protest is denied there are limited avenues for the filer. Initiating an action with the Court of International Trade (CIT) is usually the only option.
No, AFR can be requested when a protest is created or anytime thereafter before the protest is decided, and before the expiration of the 180 days after liquidation timeframe for filing a protest.
Requests should e sent to: Office of Trade, Regulations and Rulings, 90K Street, NE, 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20229-1177, Attn: 19 USC 1515(c) Request (or the subject matter branch if known).
Inquiries should be sent to the Center reviewing the protest.
If our broker files a protest on our behalf via ACE, can I as the importer, see the protest using the Protest Module within ACE?
No, even if you have a Protest Filer Account you would not have visibility of protests filed on your behalf by another Protest Filer.
Brokers or importers should contact the Center that reviewed and decided the protest.
A CBP Form 4811 can be submitted independently or with and entry. A party must have a Form 4811 on file with CBP to be listed on the protest as Refund C/O Number on a protest; the selection of a Refund C/O Party on a protest will supersede any other Form 4811 for the parties involved.
Yes, protest functionality was deployed in ACE on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
No, the ACE Protest Module does not have a print function for electronically submitted CBP 19 forms.
Hard copy protests will be accepted at the Ports of Entry and processed by the Ports/Centers of Excellence and Expertise in the same manner as they are today. The only significant change is that CBP will be inputting the information into ACE rather than ACS.
The current statute/regulation (19 USC 1515(b); 19 CFR 174.229(a)) provides that Accelerated Disposition of a 514 protest can only be requested via certified or registered mail. Since there has been no change or modification made to the statute/regulation for Accelerated Disposition, it will continue to be done through the post office as stated in the 19 CFR.
With the creation of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise, can we submit a protest for entries at multiple ports to a single Center?
A single protest can be filed at one of the Centers for entries covering the same issue at multiple ports. Please note that a "team number" is assigned to the Port/Center designated as the control team on the lead entry summary. The protest filer may change the "team number" when creating the protest.
Yes. Once ACE Protest deploys there will be no more ACS protest fillings. CBP will migrate entry summary data from ACS to ACE. The ACE Protest Module will validate whether entries originally filed in ACS are valid entry numbers.
Instructions and a video on Requesting a Protest Account be found at this link. To apply, select the "Apply for an Account" button from the right menu, complete the online form, and submit. To watch the video, scroll towards the bottom of the page and select the video 'How to Apply for an ACE Protest Filer Account form."
Requesting a protest filer account should take no more than 24 hours. If you encounter problems while requesting a protest account, contact the ACE Support Help Desk at ACE.Support@cbp.dhs.gov for assistance.
No, only the protest filer can submit an electronic protest. Trade users must establish a protest filer account in the ACE portal in order to submit electronic protests in ACE.
Can the ACE Secure Data Portal be used to upload protest documents as an alternative to using the Document Image System (DIS)?"
For electronic protest submissions, DIS will not be used to upload supporting documents. All supporting documents and files for additional entry numbers must be uploaded in the ACE Portal for electronic submissions to the protest record.
Are sub or secondary accounts, i.e., different businesses under the same corporation, allowed to create a protest filer account?
Once the top or primary account is established, separate protest filer accounts can be created under that account for the purpose of filing protests.
It is not CBP policy that the filer present or upload supporting documents within 5 days. It is the filer's responsibility to provide documents to support the protest when it is created, not upon review by CBP. CBP may request additional documentation if needed to render a decision via a CBP Form 28 (Request for Information) but not supporting documentation that is "required" when the filer creates a protest.
Are electronic protest submissions assigned to the Centers of Excellence and Expertise or the ports?
Electronic protests are assigned to the Port/Center team designated as the Control Team on the lead entry summary.
For filers who have samples that need to be considered in the protest, Are they still able to submit an electronic protest claim or should they just opt for the CBP Form 19 submission?
Yes, filers can still submit protest claims electronically. The online form provides a check box "Sample Provided." The protest filer should forward the sample to the port or Center of Excellence and Expertise team designated on the protest submission and note in the protest record when, how, and to whom the sample is being sent.
Is there a file size limit for supporting documentation uploaded to the ACE Portal for a protest submission?
10 MB per file uploaded through the portal.
If a protest was filed using the paper-based filing method, can a filer see the status of that protest submission in ACE?
No, notification will remain the same as it is today (via paper).
After successfully submitting an electronic protest, will the ACE portal allow filers to go back and submit supplemental information for the protest?
Yes, select "Provide Supplemental Information" on the "Actions" menu in the protest record.
For paper based protests submissions, how will a Center of Excellence and Expertise or port team be assigned to it?
Paper submissions will also be assigned to the Port or Center team designated as the Control Team on the lead entry summary.
Trade parties who already have ACE Portal accounts may request that protest filer account functionality added to their existing account.
When creating a protest filer account, is the "protest filer name" the company name or the name of the individual filing the protest?
The name used for the protest filer account would be the name of the trade party who created the account not the name of the individual filing the protest.
Yes, comments explaining the decision will be included in the protest denial notice.
Since the information is not viewable by other parties, can a protest filer print or email what was filed on a protest submission?
The protest module does not have a print feature for printing the online form. However, other parties added as email recipients to the protest record will be provided notification of specific protest events (approved, denied, denied in part, etc.).
CBP Forms 3461 and 7501 are not required for protest filings in ACE.
When registering for a protest filer account, is it also necessary for importers to give the protest filer access to the rest of their ACE data?
No, this is not a requirement.
If a protest filer has more than one entry number for the same importer, can these multiple entry numbers be combined under one protest?
An "Additional Entry Number" section is provided on the online form. The protest filer can add the entry numbers in two ways:
- Entering individual entry numbers
- Uploading a file of entry numbers (the protest module supports only .txt for a file of entry numbers)
The entry numbers will be validated. If invalid, the entry number will not be accepted.
When a decision is made on a protest submission, will the name, phone number, and email of the deciding officer be provided so the filer can contact them if additional information is needed?
The individual names and phone numbers of CBP personnel are not provided when a protest decision is made. The filer will be given general information needed to contact the port or Center of Excellence and Expertise team rendering the decision.
Will filers be able to save a partially completed protest claims in ACE until they finalize their submission?
No incomplete protest are allowed. Filers will not be able save partially completed protest claims in ACE.
No, currently there is no projected date when paper protest submissions will no longer be accepted.
If a filer goes through the steps to add a protest filer account to their existing ACE portal account and never gets a confirmation email from CBP, what should the next step be?
In this situation the filer should contact ACE.Suppport @cbp.dhs.gov for assistance.
Yes, an attorney can create a protest filer account and submit a protest claim on behalf of his or her client.
Yes, filers may submit an AFR through the ACE protest module.
While Headquarters monitors some aspects of the protest process, port and Center of Excellence and Expertise supervisors are ultimately responsible for monitoring their teams' protest processing timeliness.
Electronic processing could result in faster protest decisions. However, the focus is to improve the workflow within CBP when protests are being processed.
ACE will allow for amendments to a protest any time up until the decision is made. However, the legal requirement remains the 180 day period after liquidation (in most cases). Amendments made after this timeframe will be considered untimely.
Will the email notification process for protest submissions and amendments be implemented for CBP Form 28 (Request for Information) and CBP Form 29 (Notice of Action)?
Can accelerated protests be submitted in the ACE protest module or do they have to be done on paper?
Due to the statutory requirements, we are required to have accelerated disposition requests sent by certified or registered mail. Once the request is sent, you may initiate the request in the ACE protest module, so CBP can be alerted, using the "Accelerated Disposition Action."
If a protest was filed prior to 08/27/16 via ABI and the documents were not sent via DIS yet, how will a user file the documentary evidence with CBP?
The documents must be sent to the port, if they have not been upload to DIS, prior to 8/27.
Is there additional information that explains to ACE users how to add the protest filer view to an existing ACE account?
ACE user can use the ACE Protest Quick Reference Guide to learn more about adding the "protest filer view" to an existing ACE account.
If a Customs Broker has several User ID Accounts in ACE, does each user have to create their own Protest Filer Account?
One account will suffice, keeping in mind that CBP populates and locks the Protest Filer number with whatever the account is created with.
Entries should be added in the additional entries section of the Create Protest window, using the individual input or the .txt file upload.
There is no restriction on the principal type field. We use that for validation of the corresponding number provided (for example, if surety is selected, a valid surety code must be entered).
The "claimed tariff" should be the "new" tariff a protest filer is claiming.
What happens if a filer mails an accelerated disposition request, but does not put it into the ACE Protest Module?
CBP can input the request into the module when it is received, if it has not already been entered into the portal.
If a filer has filed a paper protest, can they make an electronic ACE application for further review (AFR) or electronically amend the initial protest?
No, since the filer did not begin filing the protest electronically. Once a protest claim is submitted using the paper based method all additional actions, including requesting an AFR, with that particular protest submission must take place on paper.
How does the ACE protest module system work if a filer needs to change multiple Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers?
If there are multiple classification changes, those should be added in the narrative reason for the Protest or in an attachment.
Can filers protest ACS entries electronically or will those still have to be submitted through the mail?
You may Protest ACS Entries in ACE.
Can filers electronically file a request for reconsideration on protests that were originally filed via paper and denied?
No, if the denied protest was filed via paper you must file the 1515 (c) and/or (d) in paper as well.
CBP will note that there are additional protests on a given entry, review the information provided, and, based on the review, decide how best to proceed with the protests claims submitted.
What happens if the protest filer leaves the company? How can another protest filer gain access to that individual's protests?
CBP recommends provisioning multiple users to each protest filer account, to ensure this instance doesn’t lock a company out of the protests in the portal. If a filer encounters this issue, he or she should contact the ACE Services Desk at ACE.Support@cbp.dhs.gov.
Can the ACE Portal's protest module be used to submit protests for entries cleared on a consolidated manifest?
The ACE Portal's protest module can be used to protest any entries where protest rights exist.
If a filer would like to withdraw an accelerated request, does it have to be done via certified mail?
A filer does not need to withdraw an accelerated disposition (AD) request via certified mail. However, if the filer wishes to file a subsequent AD request after withdrawing the first request he or she will need to submit the AD request via certified or registered mail again.
Yes, electronic protests can be filed on non-business days. Paper protests must conform to current acceptance procedures.
There is no limit to the number of documents that can be attached to a protest submission. However, each attached file cannot be greater than 10 MB in size.
If an Importer files their own protest, will the broker of record be notified that a protest has been filed?
No, automated notifications are not sent to the broker on entries where the importer submits the protest claim.
Is there a particular naming convention for the files that are uploaded to the ACE Portal's protest module?
No, there is currently no specific naming convention for protest supporting documents in ACE. However, CBP requests that filers try to be as clear as possible when naming their uploaded documents to help the bureau's personnel easily understand and differentiate between the information that each file contains.
Regarding the document upload function for accelerated disposition (AD) in the ACE Portal's protest module, will only the date the documents were mailed be required?
No, an upload of the receipt for certified mail will be required for AD.
Is the submission of a protest accepted up until 11:59 PM before its deadline and does the time zone the protest is filed in affect the deadline in ACE ?
The cutoff time for protest filing for any given day is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
There are times when importers are not the importer of record (IOR). For example, an express consignment hub puts itself as the IOR on small parcel low value shipments. In this situation, would the ultimate consignee be able to file a protest in ACE?
Yes, in this particular situation the ultimate consignee may file a Protest using the ACE Portal's protest module.
Will protests that are electronically submitted in ACS be searchable in the ACE Protest Module once the ACS protest data has been migrated?
No, only protest claims that have been electronically submitted using the ACE Portal will be searchable in the system. While protest claims electronically submitted in ACS will be migrated into ACE, these claims will be treated like a protest that was submitted using the paper method. This means that they will not receive electronic notifications/updates or be searchable in the ACE Protest Module.
What response options do filers have when responding to document requests from CBP for ACS protests that were converted over to ACE?
Filers must respond to request for documents for protests converted from ACS to ACE in paper.