December 15, 2014 | Industry Insights

The eCTB & eSTB Process & How it will work

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The eCTB & eSTB Process & How it will work

While the large majority of brokers are not utilizing ACE today or they are only using it for a small percentage of their entries, eBond will affect all brokers when it comes to Continuous Bonds on January 3, 2015. The process will be simpler; new Continuous bonds can be filed electronically by the surety and will be on file almost immediately. This will eliminate the waiting period for CBP’s processing time. Since importer names and addresses will not be transmitted on the new eCTB, address and name change riders will no longer be required and a broker can simply update the electronic 5106 to change this information. The only riders that will still be required are for addition and deletion riders, Virgin Island expansion riders, and reconciliation riders. Terminations will also be processed electronically and all parties will have the same 15 calendar day time frame.

The eSTB process and how it will work

As of January 3, 2015, an eSTB is required when the broker is filing an ACE entry summary certified for Cargo release or an ACE entry to be followed by an ACE entry summary. This applies only for entry types 01 and 03 (and, in limited circumstances, type 11). CBP will no longer accept an emailed ACE STB. For ACE cargo release entries secured by an STB, a broker will first send the STB data to the surety by either logging in to your surety’s online bond issuing system or by transmitting the information from your software provider. The bond will then be transmitted to CBP by the surety and CBP will send a notification of acceptance to both the surety and the designated Secondary Notify Party (SNP). The SNP is identified by the SNP code provided to the surety by the broker. Once the broker receives the acceptance, they will transmit their entry in ACE.  Release will follow once the bond and entry data match and are validated in ACE. For any other entry types or entries filed in ACS, a paper bond will be required until further notice from CBP. The process for ISF eSTBs will be handled in a similar manner as they are today. Once the broker obtains the ISF transaction number and the ISF eSTB is executed, the surety will need to transmit the ISF eSTB to CBP. As of January 3, 2015, CBP will no longer accept an emailed ISF STB.

What should Brokers do to prepare for eBond?
  • Contact your surety bond provider and start discussing with them how they will handle eBond and if you need to do any staff training on the surety’s online bond issuing system.
  • Be aware of your bond issuing authority from your surety bond provider to know ahead of time when approval may be required for issuance of a bond.
  • Contact your software provider and find out how to start preparing for ACE and eBond.  Discuss with them if you want to do electronic bond transmission with your surety bond provider.
  • With this new automated and electronic environment, there may be a potential for additional Errors and Omissions exposure; talk with your insurance provider about how they can help minimize this risk.
Important Dates to Remember
  • January 3, 2015:  eSTB required for all ACE cargo release entries and eCTB
  • November 1, 2015:  Mandatory use of ACE for cargo release & entry summary
  • October 1, 2016:  Mandated use of ACE for all remaining portions of CBP cargo processing
 An article by Patrice Lafayette, Published in the NCBFAA December 2014 eNewsletter
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