What is Ace Manifest

What is ACE Manifest?

The ACE (Automated Commercial Environment) manifest is a digital document filed with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before goods are imported into the United States. Since 2007, highway carriers must file an electronic manifest at least one hour prior to arrival at the border, when bringing goods into the United States. Failure to do so may result in delays at the border, refusal into the U.S or penalty.

Why is ACE called a Single Window System?

For every mode of transportation there is a different ACE import manifest documentation. All these documentations are transmitted through a single system called ACE. This is the reason why ace is termed as “Single Window System”.

The different modes of transportation are:

  • ACE Air Manifest
  • ACE Ocean Manifest
  • ACE Rail Manifest
  • ACE Truck Manifest 

ACE Manifest Requirements:

Highway carriers who bring commercial goods into the United States should make sure that both the ACE Manifest and the entry number by the customs broker (for PAPS shipments) are on file with CBP at least one hour prior to arriving at the border. Upon arrival, the driver must present the customs invoice or bill of lading along with the shipment control number. 

A PAPS barcode and/or barcoded ACE lead sheet can reduce the border processing time by helping the officer in locating your manifest easily. After verification, the CBP officer will either release the truck or request for further processing.   

What is the difference between an ACE Manifest and an ACI Manifest?

An ACE Manifest is for U.S. bound commercial shipments, which is filled and submitted to the U.S. CBP. An ACI (Advance Commercial Information) eManifest is the Canadian equivalent which is filled and submitted to the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency).

ACE ManifestACI Manifest
ACE manifest is used for shipments entering USACI manifest is used for shipments entering Canada
It is managed by CBP (Customs and Border Protection), USIt is managed by CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency), Canada
The online system is called ACE e- manifestThe online system is called ACI e- manifest
Official website: https://www.cbp.gov/ Official website: https://www.canada.ca/en.html 

Eligibility Requirements for ACE Registration:

1. Necessary Transportation Authority:

To commercially transport goods in the US, you must to have:

  • USDOT Number/ MC Number

If your company is based in Canada, you must also have:

  • Registered as a commercial carrier or should complete a CVOR registration if you are from Ontario. 

Check out the need, requirements, and procedure for CVOR registration.

2. SCAC:

To register to use ACE Manifest, you will need a valid four digit SCAC (Standard Carrier Alpha Code) registered with the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. The fee for SCAC application is $100 US dollars as of February 2023. After submitting your application, within 1-2 business days, you will receive a Certificate of Standard Carrier Alpha Code Assignment via email with your approved SCAC code. SCAC is valid for only one year so don’t forget to renew it annually.

Certificate of Standard Carrier Alpha Code

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How do I register to use ACE Manifest?

Step1: Create an account

To create an account with the ace, go to the official CBP website and fill out the application form. The application has four sections: 

  • Section A. Account Information
  • Section B. Account Owner Designation
  • Section C. Point of Contact for the Account
  • Section D. Authorization and Acknowledgement

After carefully filling out the necessary information, click submit. The CBP will process your application within 3-5 business days

Step 2: Login and set-up your account:

The next step is to login and set up your account by creating user profiles and sub-accounts.

Step 3: Create a Manifest:

On the References tab click on the launch truck manifest trade portal to start creating your manifest.

To create a manifest in the truck manifest trade portal follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Header

  1. Select the create button from the top right corner and click manifest and then create new.
  2. The SCAC and the name of the carrier are pre filled based on the account information. 
  3. Enter the manifest number in the given field
  4. Select the estimated date, time and port of arrival 
  5. In-transit manifest refers to Canada- USA – Canada trip. Choose options based on your trip
  6. Click next to move to the next section – Crew

Step 2: Crew

  1. The Crew section allows you to select the driver saved to your account or add a new driver. To add a new driver, select the create icon.
  2. Enter the required information in the type of crew field. For a fast ID driver, only a fast id number is entered and validated. 
  3. In the document section, enter the document type and number and upload the said document.
  4. Choose Yes or No for the save to account question. If you select Yes, the driver’s information will be saved for later, if not you can use it for one time only. Note that this does not apply for the FAST ID driver or passenger.
  5. Now enter the US destination address in the given field. This is not required for a FAST ID driver.
  6. Click next to move to the next section – Vehicles

Step 3: Vehicles

  1. This section is all about adding conveyances and equipment to the manifest. Click the create icon to add a new conveyance or equipment. 
  2. Fill all the necessary details in the part of vehicles, license plates, insurance and seal section.
  3. Save to account option allows you to save the details entered to your account. 
  4. If you already saved the data, just select the conveyance and equipment directly and click next.

Step 4: Bill of Lading

  1. For the empty truck, this step can be skipped. For empty containers, empty barrels, empty boxes, a bill of lading with IIT (Instruments of International Traffic) must be created. 
  2. Just select the BOP which is already created or create a new one.

    Creating a new Bill of Lading:

    To create a new bill of lading, click the create icon and then create. Header: Fill all the necessary details such as: Bill issuer SCAC, BOL, BOL type, Estimated date, time & port of arrival.

    • Commercial Parties: Select the create icon to add new commercial parties. Select the type of party and some basic details below.


    • Commodities: Commodities section requires information relating to the goods to be transported. Fill up all the details like cargo description, quantity & its unit of measurement and weight & its unit of measurement. Finally click add to save the commodity to the bill of lading.


    • Review: This is the final step in the process of creating a new bill of lading. Review all the information and finally click save option. A message indicating the successful creation will appear. Click ok.


  3. Now select the BOP which you just created and click next to proceed to the final step.

Step 5: Review

  1. The final step is to review all the information and edit it if necessary. Then click the Submit to CBP button to submit the manifest to the CBP. A successfully created dialog box will appear, click ok.
  2. You can also edit, amend or cancel a manifest. 
  3. You have successfully created a manifest. Type your manifest number in the manifest tab to see the status of your manifest.

ACE Manifest Benefits:

The primary purpose of ACE manifest is to fast-track legitimate trade and increase CBP’s ability to safeguard the US border. Being a single window, ACE automates and simplifies data processing, it reduces paperwork and allows greater coordination with U.S. regulations.

Benefits of adopting this system are:

  • Quick Data Availability – The platform enables a faster exchange of information between the global trading community and the U.S. government. This leads to an efficient inspection of high-risk cargo and improves security at the borders.
  • Improved Visibility –  CBP sends notifications to registered carriers and importers through the ACE electronic system. With this, the importers can easily receive notifications of their application status by email. 
  • Reduced Paper Forms – Through the ACE system, data submitted by trade participants to the CBP is now automated. This electronic mechanism has replaced the high volume of paper works required by the concerned government agencies.
  • Easier Compliance – Agents, shippers, and truck drivers do not need to transact again with different government agencies at different locations to get permits or cargo clearances. As an agent, all you need to do is to submit the required information electronically and then wait for approval.
  • Improved Accuracy – By using ACE in filing your documentation, you will reduce the possibility of error and the need for further data verification. Forms that are accurate reduce processing time and quicken cargo release.

Yoga Laxmi
Social Media Marketer at OpenFR8 | More posts

I am copyright writer with OpenFR8. I take a little bit of time to complete my blogs because I undergo research and analysis of each and every article to gather accurate information. For me, writing is not just a job; it feeds my creativity and desire to share insightful information with readers. As a writer, I like to present content that is valuable and easily understood by every individual. I believe in the power of words, and if they are used in a good manner, they can create many positive changes around us.

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