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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Brand Hong Kong - Asia world city

Commercial Information Circulars

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Ref. : CR EIC 111/2/16

13 June 2018

Dear Sirs,

Commercial Information Circular No. 576/2018

US : Mandatory Air Cargo Advance Screening

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register (FR) of 12 June 2018 an interim final rule to implement a mandatory Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) program for any inbound aircraft required to make entry under the CBP regulations that will have commercial cargo aboard. The ACAS program requires the inbound carrier or other eligible party to electronically transmit specified advance cargo data (ACAS data) to CBP for air cargo transported onboard US-bound aircraft as early as practicable, but no later than prior to loading of the cargo onto the aircraft. The rule is effective on 12 June 2018.


2.To address aviation security threats, CBP launched in December 2010 a voluntary ACAS pilot program. Participants in this pilot program transmit a subset of air manifest data elements, as early as possible prior to loading of the cargo onto an aircraft destined to the US. CBP considers this pilot program has proven successful and mitigated security risks to the US as it enables CBP to perform targeted risk assessments on the air cargo prior to the aircraft's departure for the US. Therefore, CBP is formalizing the pilot and making the ACAS program mandatory for any inbound aircraft required to make entry under CBP regulations that will have commercial cargo aboard. Details and a summary of the requirements under the mandatory ACAS program vis-à-vis the requirements under the ACAS pilot and the current advance air cargo data requirements can be found in the subject FR notice at

3.The rule is effective on 12 June 2018. In order to provide the trade sufficient time to adjust to the new requirements and in consideration of the business process changes that may be necessary to achieve full compliance, CBP will show restraint in enforcing the data submission requirements of this rule for twelve months after the effective date. While full enforcement will be phased in over this twelve-month period, willful and egregious violators will be subject to enforcement actions at all times.

4.CBP also invites interested persons to submit views on all aspects of the interim final rule by 13 August 2018. For details, please refer to the FR notice mentioned in paragraph 2 above.


5.Traders are strongly advised to seek clarifications with their importers in the US in order to fully comply with the necessary requirements. For other enquiries concerning the content of this circular, please contact the undersigned at telephone number 3403 6099.

Yours faithfully,

(Jasper LAM)
for Director-General of Trade and Industry

Note: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, the Department cannot guarantee this to be so and will not be held liable for any reliance placed on the same.