- Automated Invoice Interface/RLF
- Automated Broker Interface
- Automated Export System
- Automated In-Bond
- Automated Manifest System
- Customs Audit Module
- Duty Deferral
- Duty Drawback
- Foreign Trade Zone
- Help Editor
- Integrated Accounting
- Product Catalog
- Purchase Order Performance
- Rates & Quotes
- Reference Dictionaries
- System Security
- Track and Trace
- Trade Documents Designer
- Two-Way Compliance Verification
- Virtual Warehouse
- Workflow Control
AUTOMATED INVOICE INTERFACE/REMOTE LOCATION FILING
- Built-in Product Catalog
- Component of Entry Processing
- Integrated with ImporterQW
- Remote Location Filing (RLF)
- XML/EDI Interfaces
The Automated Invoice Interface (AII) allows invoice data to be transmitted to CBP. RLF is the CBP automated program that allows approved participants to file an entry electronically from a location other than where the goods will arrive or be examined. RLF requires AII certification.
When paperless entry summaries do not meet certain edit criteria, CBP can request electronic invoice data. Information pertaining to the rejected electronic entry summary is returned to the filer using the Electronic Reject/Request Application Identifier (US). An option to receive an acknowledgment is available for invoice data received error free. This arrangement is established at the time of initial participation in the Automated Commercial System (ACS).
AUTOMATED BROKER INTERFACE
- Built-in Product Catalog, HTS Classifier
- Unattended “Wheels-up” Clearance
- Automatic Price Adjustments
- CBP-Approved Laser Forms
- Preparation of Pro Forma Invoices
- Aging and Forecast Duty Payments
- Landed Cost Calculations
- Track and Trace
The Automated Broker Interface (ABI) of the Automated Commercial System (ACS) permits certified participants to interface directly with CBP in order to transmit entry data on imported merchandise.
- CBP collects more complete and accurate data, thus providing more control over goods entering the United States.
- Statistical data is quickly compiled and disseminated to Participating Government Agencies.
- An entry filer can submit entry/entry summary data electronically, speeding up the entry processing and thus permitting earlier release of merchandise.
- ACS permits statement processing, which allows filers to pay multiple ABI entry summaries with one check or electronic Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) transaction.
- An entry filer can query various automated reference files.
AUTOMATED EXPORT SYSTEM
Automated Export System (AES) is the electronic system for filing with CBP the export shipment data required by multiple government agencies. As a nationwide system, it is operational at all ports and encompasses all transportation methods.
AES assures compliance with and enforcement of laws relating to exporting. It improves trade statistics, reduces duplicate reporting to multiple agencies and improves customer service. Ultimately, AES will result in paperless reporting of export information.
- Ensure export compliance, correct errors as they occur
- Eliminate the cost of corrections with up-front data edits
- Eliminate the costly delays of paper handling and duplicate reporting
- Eliminate paper review of licenses against shipments
- Accept export shipment documentation electronically
- Facilitate business in NAFTA countries by presenting evidences of duty payments
- Electronic interface with multiple other government agencies
The clearance of imported cargo can be postponed until the cargo reaches another CBP point than a port of unlading. Customs brokers, freight forwarders, trucking companies, railroads, importers and foreign trade zones can benefit from the electronic In-Bond program, also known as QP/WP, to expedite in-bond requests, arrive in-bonds and report in-bond cargo exports. CBP accepts electronic CF-7512s for ocean, truck and rail in-bond movements.
- Integrated with FFQW and FTZQW modules
- Electronic import and export in-bonds (IE, IT T&E)
- Electronic departure authorizations
- Electronic releases and statuses
- Arrival of in-bond shipments
- Secondary Notify Parties
- Transfer of bond liabilities
- No unresolved in-bond penalties
AUTOMATED MANIFEST SYSTEM
QuestaWeb’s Automated Manifest System (AMS) module, AMSQW, is a multi-modal cargo inventory and release system that interacts with other CBP automated systems providing online interfaces with carriers, port authorities, container freight stations and freight forwarders.
The multi-lingual capabilities of AMSQW considerably improve the quality of data originated in foreign countries.
Ocean AMSQW supports a 24-hour rule that requires cargo manifests to be submitted to CBP 24 hours prior to container loading. This ruling, the Container Security Initiative (CSI), responds to the need to identify dangerous cargo before it reaches the United States.
AMSQW facilitates the delivery of goods and entry processing. It also provides participants with electronic release authorizations to move cargo prior to arrival. The system reduces reliance on paper documents and speeds the processing of manifest and waybill data. As a result, cargo remains on the dock for less time, participants realize faster tracking and CBP provides better service to the importing community.
AMSQW Benefits to the Trade Community
- Receive faster identification and release of low-risk shipments
- File or amend manifest or bill of lading data electronically
- Arrive vessels/conveyances electronically
- Establish electronic links to common carriers and auxiliary services
- Receive status notification when an entry has been canceled or deleted
- Receive cargo status and advance notice of General Order (GO) eligibility
- Receive exam notification and notice of other government agency holds
- Electronic interface with other agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Maritime Commission
- Preserve trade partners’ confidentiality
CBP AUDIT MODULE
According to the CBP Office of Strategic Trade Regulatory Audit Division, the CBP audit team should be alert to and consider any red flags, including:
- A prior history of CBP problems
- Poorly defined and documented internal control procedures
- Ineffective monitoring of CBP operations
- Complex CBP transactions
- Lack of specific performance measures for CBP operations
- Poor communication systems regarding CBP requirements and reporting
- Poor oversight of customs brokers and other agents involved in CBP activities
The CBP Audit module utilizes industry best practices based on available compliance requirements, Importer Trade Activity data received under the Freedom of Information Act, proprietary analytical and data-mining tools and past audit experiences.
The CBP Audit module helps importers reduce the probability of an audit by foreseeing and preventing multiple “red flag” problems. It also helps them shorten the audit cycle by making CBP-required information readily available to importers with a click of a button.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Duty Deferral program applies to any merchandise that has been imported into a NAFTA country under a duty deferral program to be used as a material in the production of another product and is subsequently exported to the territory of another NAFTA country.
Such merchandise is assessed CBP duties as if it had been withdrawn for domestic consumption.
The NAFTA Duty Deferral Entry Program represents a two-part process:
- The first part represents the “NAFTA Duty Deferral Entry,” which contains both header and detailed U.S. line item information. This information is reported at the time the merchandise is exported into the NAFTA country.
- The second part, the claim portion, represents the NAFTA country entry information related to the exportation reported in the first part.
The built-in product catalog and integration with ExporterQW and CHBQW modules are essential futures of the Duty Deferral component.
- Has the integrated export/import component, built-in product catalog
- Inputs data electronically and speeds refunds
- Ensures a flawless audit trail with accurate recordkeeping
- Reduces manufacturing costs by recovering import duties
- Claims duty on exports retroactively
- Transfers drawback rights to a domestic supplier
Duty drawback denotes a situation in which collected duties are refunded because the commodity is exported, destroyed or re-manufactured.
FOREIGN TRADE ZONE
A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a site within the United States where stored foreign and domestic merchandise is not considered to be within CBP territory, but in international commerce. An FTZ offers significant benefits to the importing community.
CBP has approved direct electronic reporting to the Census Bureau of statistical data on goods admitted into an FTZ. CBP has strict statistical reporting requirements regarding all merchandise admitted into and exiting the FTZ, including:
FTZ Comparison Matrix
- Goods admitted into an FTZ from a foreign country
- CF 214-A (Admittance to FTZ) for each shipment
- Automated Foreign Trade Zone Reporting Program (AFTZRP)
- Domestic goods admitted to an FTZ
- Admittance of domestic merchandise is non-statistical, no document required
- Goods exiting an FTZ for domestic consumption
- Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Customs Clearance
- Goods exiting an FTZ for another zone, subzone or warehouse
- Movement between zones is non-statistical, no document required
- Domestic or foreign goods exiting an FTZ for export outside the United States
- CF 7525 (Shipper’s Export Declaration) reporting
- Automated Export System (AES) reporting
The help editor displays descriptions, usage, ranges, relations, parameters and other information that helps users input data. Help information can be related to any level of data, from a field to the whole transaction.
The help editor can be modified by authorized users to accommodate specifics of individual customers. Information can be entered in a user’s native language.
The accounting software uses the accrual accounting method of calculating income and expenses. The accrual accounting system provides a more accurate picture of a company’s current financial situation.
- Accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, multiple profit & loss statements, budgeting
- Multiple accounting center hierarchy
- Prepayments, agent reconciliations
- Credit verification, standard charges and rates
- Consolidated invoices, multi-format reports
- Integrated with all import and export modules
- Optional data transfer to QuickBooks
- API to third-party accounting systems
- Multi-currency, multi-lingual
- Integrated with all modules
- Multiple countries, manufacturers, languages
- Automatic price adjustments
- Assists, royalties, die charges
- Complete pre-classifications
- Retained history and audit trail
- Missing opportunities verifications
The centralized database of pre-classified products stores trade- and compliance-related information associated with a product. It retains all characteristics necessary for the unattended border crossing processing.
The product catalog can be seamlessly integrated with legacy systems, automatically populated from received transactions such as commercial invoices, uploaded from interface files or maintained through a browser-based user interface.
The product catalog supports and maintains a time-relational approach on an individual component level. As a result, multiple effective dates further restrict the exponential growth of the database.
The product catalog provides verified and compliant information needed to streamline free/foreign trade zone (FTZ), export and import processes globally.
The Electronic Protest System allows users to electronically file and query protests, petitions and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) interventions through the Automated Commercial System (ACS). After initial filing, amendments and addenda may be filed to apply for further reviews, assert additional claims or challenge a decision.
- Automatic notification of review events
- Accelerated disposition
Users may request a review of a denial, an accelerated disposition or a denial to be voided. Users may query the status of a protest and receive electronic notifications of all protest review events, including final decisions.
PURCHASE ORDER PERFORMANCE
The terms and conditions of many purchase orders (POs) affect prices, on-time deliveries, trade and cross-border compliance, and quality of customer services. The most important factors of PO performance are
- Price variances
- Quantity variances
- Terms of delivery
- Insufficient trade and compliance documentation
- Supplier and vendor information
- Various royalty, die and other assist charges
- Color, size and other composition matrices
The early detection of these and other predefined deviations enables importers to stay informed and correct potential problems. The variances, if any, are automatically detected and reported to the designated parties or can be calculated on-demand.
RATES & QUOTES
Supply chain participants are able to receive and generate quotes for multiple international and domestic routes, multiple transportation modes, multiple carriers and multiple storage facilities. Such flexibility streamlines costing of door-to-door deliveries and consolidation services.
QuestaWeb’s extensive rates database utilizes proprietary algorithms that support proportional, incremental and accumulative rates in any combination together with discounts, surcharges, minimums and maximums.
The component is integrated with all related costing and transportation components allowing better product sourcing and optimization of shipments from suppliers to customers.
The Customs Modernization Act (Mod Act) enhances the CBP clearance process by allowing indeterminable information to be identified and provided to CBP at a future time. The law mandates use of one of two methods for post-entry summary adjustments. Either each import shipment must be separately appraised and adjustments applied to individual entries, or reconciliation entries must be transmitted to CBP via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI). CBP allows filing North American Free Trade Agreement, 9802, Value and Classification changes to import entries electronically.
The component’s functionality includes flagging of entries, acceptance of Importer Trade Activity/Freedom of Information Act data, C09 calculations, data transmission and recording statuses.
- Flagging of entries and warnings on deadlines
- Handling blanket reconciliations
- Multiple reconciliations
- Reporting on reconciliation statuses
- Input and output spreadsheets
- Automatic reconciliation (re)calculations
- Integration with commercial invoices
The infrastructure of reference dictionaries enables users to store, manipulate and share standard and frequently used information. Reference dictionaries are used in multiple validation procedures and displayed as help references. All dictionaries can be populated manually; CBP-related ones can be queried via the Automated Commercial Environment/Automated Broker Interface module of the CHBQW component; others are uploaded from proprietary sources.
Available for download from our website are dictionaries such as:
- Currency Conversion Factors
- Harmonized Tariff Schedules
- ISO Country Codes
- Airline Codes
- SSL (Secured Socket Layer)
- Action privileges
- Security by value
- Job functions
- Restricted visibility
Robust security is a crucial requirement for Internet applications. In addition to the sets of passwords and action privileges, QuestaWeb also implements security by virtue of the hierarchical security access structure.
Participants can access data that is relevant to their current activity only. Profiles, groups or roles can be developed for each department, functional area or position responsibilities. Each profile, group or role contains access authorities that are common to individuals who perform the same job function.
TRACK & TRACE
This engine is an integral part of all CBP clearance, freight forwarding and other Global Trade Management (GTM) modules. It combines features of Event, Query, Dashboard and Document Engines but is enhanced with additional functionality.
Details can be drilled down to the product and Harmonized Tariff Schedule levels. Strict access control is fully applicable.
As with all TradeMasterQW modules, “no client” is necessary to access Track & Trace information.
TRADE DOCUMENTS DESIGNER
Paperwork is one of the principal difficulties of trading globally. In addition to the amount of paperwork, the import-export compliance regulations and trade laws of multiple countries must be observed in multiple languages. According to the U.S. government, “the average international shipment involves 46 documents.”
Without proper export documentation, a shipment may be detained. Without proper import documentation, it may not be received and cleared through a national customs entity in a timely manner.
QuestaWeb’s proprietary Trade Documents Designer module alleviates immediate cross-border problems by allowing online creation of trade and compliance documents (both forms and data) in real time and in multiple languages. User-defined flex database fields can be used to process and populate unexpected or country-, industry-, company- or product-specific information.
TWO-WAY COMPLIANCE VERIFICATION
Import compliance has been a hot topic for the importing community since 1993 when Congress passed the Customs Modernization and Informed Compliance Act (Mod Act). The Mod Act shifted responsibility for maintaining compliance with import laws and regulations to importers and mandated that CBP conduct compliance audits to monitor the status of import compliance.
Using a licensed customs house broker to perform import clearance on an importer’s behalf does not relieve the importer from the responsibility to conform to all import compliance regulations.
The importer must ensure that the customs house broker actually filed the provided data in the exact manner prescribed. The importer must be promptly notified of all discrepancies (misclassifications, misevaluations, etc.) and told how to resolve them.
Extended functionality specifically designed for import-export freight forwarders, customs house brokers, foreign trade zone (FTZ) and warehouse operators to automate their cargo consolidation, deconsolidation, manipulation, reloading and distribution operations.
- Multiple warehouses & locations
- Lots management
- Warehouse charges
- Inventory tracking
- Warehouse receipts
- Bar-coded inventory labels
- On-hand & distribution reports
The 3PL Warehouse Management System (WMSQW) is fully integrated with
QuestaWeb developers pioneered a technology that enables proactive management of complex and interrelated processes that govern international supply chains.
The essence of the technical accomplishment is the system’s capability to configure and manage event-oriented tasks via statuses, locks and rules-based activity triggers enforcing actions, upon the occurrence of specified statuses and events.
Together, they form a powerful, proactive workflow management system that boosts the day-to-day efficiency of global trade operations.