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UPDATED: 5/7/05
 

ABI (Automated Broker Interface)

Cargo Release

Cargo release is available to operational entry summary filers when entry summary data is unavailable or summary data is not desired. Cargo release or entry summary information can be transmitted prior to the arrival of merchandise. Errors are corrected through ABI before the entry summary (CF-7501) has been filed with Customs.

One Stop Quota

ABI participants who have the capability to transmit entry (CF-3461) and entry summary (CF-7501) data through ABI are eligible for One Stop Quota. In locations where the option is available, One Stop Quota allows an ABI participant to file documents directly with an assigned import specialist team. Each team has been specially trained in entry summary processing. One Stop Quota greatly reduces the turnaround time from the filing of entry documents to the time the merchandise is released.

Other Government Agency Interface

ABI's interface with other government agencies (OGA) electronically transfers data on import transactions. The interface eliminates the need for paper copies of other government agencies' forms, which are otherwise required by Customs with the entry or entry summary. The OGA interface allows filers to comply with Department of Transportation, Bureau of Census, Federal Communications Commission, Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requirements.

Statement Processing

Statement processing allows ABI filers to pay multiple ABI entry summaries with one check or payment transaction. Customs generates a preliminary statement of summaries due and transmits the statement to the filer through ABI. The filer prints and reviews the preliminary statement, updates the statement with additions or deletions, and submits a final statement with payment. After the statement has been paid, the filer receives a final statement from Customs, through ABI, that lists all summaries paid. This final statement serves as a receipt of payment.

Statement processing reduces the processing time for collection and acceptance of an entry summary. It reduces the costs and risks of handling paper checks and affords more control over summary filing and duty payment. In addition, filers using statement processing are eligible to participate in ACH.

Filers can have their entry summaries grouped by two statement types: Broker statements and Importer statements.

Broker statements group entry summaries by filer code. An additional option for a broker statement is a branch statement, which is divided by a branch office designation transmitted by the filer. This allows several statements to be generated for the same filer in the same processing port.

Importer statements group entry summaries for a single importer, as specified by the filer. This option is useful to brokers who handle many summaries each day for a single importer, especially if they have a consolidated billing arrangement with the importer. An importer statement can be further grouped by importer number and a suffix transmitted by the filer. This is useful to importers with several subdivisions.

Electronic Payment through Automated Clearinghouse (ACH)

ACH is an electronic payment option that allows ABI filers to pay Customs fees, duties, and taxes with one electronic transaction. Filers transmit payment authorization to Customs through ABI. The payer's account is debited and the Customs account is credited with the amount due. The accuracy and speed of ACH results in a higher volume of completed transactions, saving time and money for both the filer and for Customs.

For more information on ACH, see our Automated Clearinghouse page.

Harmonized Tariff System Tape and Updates

The tariff tape is an essential element of ABI. Using this tape has significantly reduced entry summary processing errors and rejections. The tape is issued in December of each year and contains new tariff schedule numbers and rates of duty for the upcoming year. Updates to the tariff files are available electronically as they become available during the year. ABI participants are notified through administrative message when updates are available.

Submit Drawback Claims

Filers can submit a drawback claim to Customs through ABI or on a diskette. This ensures that the data is quickly and accurately recorded in ACS and results in faster claim processing and issuance of the drawback payment. Immediate acceptance or rejection of data is available.

File Electronic Protests

The ABI electronic protest system allows ABI participants to file, amend, and query 514 protests, 520(c) and (d) petitions, and 181.115 interventions. The protest, petition, or intervention can be transmitted remotely from any location. Customs views and processes the protest on-line. An automatic notification routine keeps the filer informed of any change in status. Notification of Customs decision is sent to the filer electronically.

Query Files

ABI participants can query various ACS files through ABI.

Query Importer and Bond Data

During the ABI test phase, a participant's customer file may be queried against the Customs Importer/Bond file. Adding an ABI participant's customer file to ACS eliminates the need to manually file numerous forms with the local Customs office. By continuously updating information through ABI, the participant avoids importer/ultimate consignee related errors in entry and entry summary transactions.

Query Antidumping/Countervailing Duty

Query antidumping/countervailing duty cases by case number, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) country code, or tariff number.

Query Tariff File

Query the tariff file for rates of duty, statistical information, indexes, and notes. Query for a past date or the current date.

Query Error Statistics

Obtain error statistics for entry summary and cargo release data processing for two prior months.

Query Quota and Visa Information

Obtain up-to-date quota information for a tariff number or textile category, and a country. Query information on textile visa for a specific country.

Query Protest Information

Obtain either a recap giving just the current processing status, decision status, and office currently assigned the protest, or a full file giving a complete copy of the protest.

Extract Reference Files

ABI participants can query reference files from the Customs Data Center and download the following data to their own computer system:
  • Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Cases
  • Carrier Codes
  • Country Codes (ISO)
  • Currency Conversion Codes
  • Currency Exchange Rates
  • Error Warning Statistics
  • Facilities Information and Resources Management System (FIRMS) Codes
  • Foreign Port Codes
  • Gold Prices
  • GSP Files
  • Harmonized Tariff Schedule
  • Import Specialist Team Assignments
  • OGA Information
  • Port Codes
  • State and Zip Codes

Administrative Messages

Customs can communicate with ABI participants on an individual basis, specific port basis, or provide general information to all participants through the use of administrative messages.

Courtesy Notice of Liquidation/Extension/Suspension

Courtesy notices of liquidation/extension/suspension are sent to all operational ABI participants who are entry filers. While this notice is not legally binding, it does provide advance, electronic notification of liquidations. Under the National Importer Liquidation (NIL) program, an importer can request that all courtesy notices be sent to a specific ABI participant who is an entry filer. Importers requesting this service must submit a Hold Harmless Agreement to Customs.

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