Air Cargo Advance Screening, commonly referred to as ACAS, is a United States Department of Homeland Security program that evaluates air freight shipments for threats to aviation.  

Specifically, it means that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires filing data for all air import cargo going to or via the US, in order to conduct a risk assessment.  

If you’re a forwarder with a high volume of air freight shipments transshipping or destined to the US, adherence to the regulations and rules of ACAS is mandatory. Failure to comply is not an option, with significant penalties and fines for individuals and businesses alike.   

Unsure how to navigate these rules and regulations? Here's three things you should know. 

Fact: ACAS data must be submitted no later than prior to loading of cargo onto an aircraft.  

CBP recommends that information be reported to ACAS at the earliest point possible in the supply chain.

CargoWise, our deeply integrated logistics execution platform, lets you send the ACAS shipment report from within a shipment as soon as the piece count, weight, goods description as well as the consignor and consignee details are known. This can be done even before the shipment in question is attached to a Carrier and Master Airway Bill. 

Fact: CBP will perform targeted risk assessments on the air cargo prior to the aircraft’s departure for the US. 

Once CBP receives the ACAS shipment report message, they will use it to ascertain high-risk cargo and issue one of many possible responses, ranging from ‘do-not-load’ to ‘approved’. 

The Events tab on the ACAS shipment report form stores the messages going from CargoWise and the different responses from CBP, giving you full visibility to the relevant messages. This allows you to quickly action any problems that may arise.   

Fact: Risk assessments will identity and prevent  air cargo from being loaded on the aircraft that could post a risk to the aircraft during flight.  

The ACAS shipment report must be sent for each shipment individually, before it can be linked to a Master Air Waybill number. By doing this, CBP has already completed the risk assessment on each shipment even before they are notified of the Master Air Waybill.  

Once the shipment is attached to a carrier and Master Air Waybill, CargoWise lets you send the ACAS House Checklist message that links all the house bill numbers that are associated to that Master Air Waybill.

Managing a Master Air Waybill containing house bill numbers that have not had the ACAS shipment report message sent? CargoWise will automatically notify you of this discrepancy and can also send automated notifications to your customers based on responses received from CBP. 

Want to accelerate the speed and accuracy of your customs clearance processes? Create, manage and clear your import and export customs declarations with CargoWise. Learn more

Need help optimizing your productivity with CargoWise? Our global CargoWise Partner network helps customers of all sizes implement and configure CargoWise to suit your business needs. Find out how

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