August 08, 2014 | Industry Insights

CBP Releases eBond Implementation Guide

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CBP Releases eBond Implementation Guide

In June, U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP) released a Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR) document providing updated conventional trade interface information for ACE eBond filing between CBP and sureties. The CATAIR update is intended for the future deployment of eBond functionality in ACE and provides input and output electronic data interchange (EDI) record formation for the electronic submission of bonds to CBP.

The document presents both the bond input transaction proprietary records used by sureties and surety agents to file and maintain an electronic bond as well as the output transaction proprietary records returned in response. The input record layouts provided describe the mandatory, conditional and optional data elements required by the automated EDI interface. The output record layouts describe a response to filing as generated and returned by the automated EDI interface. The document also provides various clarifications regarding a bond response. The document can be found on the CBP website.

As of June 6, newly revised sections include record structure maps, changes to records 10, 12, 20, 30, 35, 36, 40, 45 and 90, and updates to Appendix G – Condition Codes. The June 6 changes are the third revision to the eBond CATAIR. On Feb. 27, an initial draft was proffered, and on March 11, a version was floated that increased looping of bond users from 99 to 999; added “severity code” to the 90 record; and added condition codes and narrative texts after the 90 record. The June 6 revisions are much more extensive and include numerous clarifications, notes, error codes and fields, along with an update to the ACE CATAIR error dictionary error codes and conditions, which can also be found on the CBP site.

Although the CATAIR is primarily for communication between CBP and sureties, it is important for ACE software vendors and customs brokers to be aware of the requirements, as CBP is programming for a Secondary Notify Party (SNP) in the CATAIR.  When a customs broker provides its surety with the SNP in an eBond transaction, the surety will include the SNP in its transmission to CBP, thereby allowing the customs broker to receive CBP’s response at the same time as the surety.

As of January 3, 2015, all entries filed in ACE using a single transaction bond will be required to have an electronic bond. All continuous bonds will be filed electronically at the same time. Furthermore, CBP is set on having ACE be the system of record by November 1, 2015, so understanding the record structure and adopting the software is critical. By October 1, 2016, ACE is slated to be mandatory for all remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process, including processes such as drawback and protest. Colleen Clarke, VP at Roanoke Insurance Group Inc, helped lead an eBond update presentation late last year, which provides a history of the development of the eBond system. That free webinar is available here and addresses numerous issues of which sureties and their brokers and principals need to be aware.

Roanoke has been deeply involved in educating the transportation community about eBond, and has participated in numerous conferences and update efforts. We were the first in the U.S. to serve the needs of customs brokers and their clients and continue that proud history as the industry moves forward technologically. Stay tuned to Roanoke for updates on CBP requirements and guidelines as they unfold.

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