INDUSTRY STARTS CONVERSION TO CUSTOMS’ NEW COMMUNICATION LINK
Customs brokers and importers are starting to convert to a new
communication link with U.S. Customs’ Automated Commercial System.
The agency installed the new link developed by IBM, called MQ (message
queuing), earlier this year to ease the data capacity burden on ACS. Last year, Customs’
16-year-old system experienced routine slowdowns because of data overload in its
ACS processes about 65,000 to 75,000 jobs a day. Data activity is
expected to grow by 20 percent a year for the next five years. MQ should help to handle
this growth in trade data, but it’s only a temporary fix until the new umbrella system,
the Automated Commercial Environment, is built, said John B. Hill, Customs’ director of
applications for ACS.
So far, two import entry filers have switched to MQ, and another 17 are
testing. "Every time a filer gets onto MQ, it lightens the load on the
system," Hill said.
Customs plans to enhance the efficiency of MQ in April by making the
industry responsible for prioritizing its data in ACS. Currently, brokers
file all their data at once and the system schedules the processing.
"We’ve done a lot of analysis on our side and it doesn’t appear that it
will have an impact on the industry," Hill said. Only a small percentage of ACS jobs
will be affected, such as importer and manufacturer update