The Automated Commercial Environment and International Trade Data System

The federal government is streamlining the importation process through the International Trade Data System (ITDS). The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), developed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is the single system that importers and customs brokers must use to submit information required by government agencies for trade. The 2006 Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act)External mandated all agencies that require documentation for clearing or licensing the importation and exportation of cargo participate in ITDS. Executive Order 13659, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s BusinessesExternal, directed those agencies to use ITDS by December 2016.

Through ITDS/ACE, importers and brokers will have the opportunity to file required import documents within the Document Image System (DIS). For those CDC items not filed in ACE, paper-based processes will continue.

Filing Import Data Electronically

On December 30, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new guidance in the Federal Register, titled “Electronic Filing of Certain Import Data into the Document Image System through the Automated Commercial Environment.” The guidance was posted for importers, exporters, and brokers, and explains a new requirement for electronic filing of documents in the International Trade Data System (ITDS) when importing certain items regulated by the CDC. The guidance became effective on December 30, 2016.

What has not changed: As applicable, CDC-regulated imports must be accompanied by specific documents when imported into the United States.

What has changed: Import documents for certain CDC-regulated imports must be filed electronically through the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), using the Document Image System (DIS).

This guidance becomes effective on December 30, 2016. Please see the docket detailsExternal for more information or view as a PDF file Cdc-pdf[PDF – 25 pages]External.

For more questions about this notice or CDC’s import regulations, contact CDC’s Importation and Animal Contact Team at