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F-ace Rail

F-ace Rail is a fully automated processing system that is currently available on Flagship’s Virtual Host System.  This system provides rail carriers with an automated interface into U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  Each F-ace Rail system is completely customized to the rail carrier’s specific requirements and is designed to integrate easily with their existing systems.

Data can be entered or edited manually, but this is not the preferred use of the system.  Generally, the data is received electronically from the rail customer and is automatically processed into their F-ace Rail database.  The data is automatically submitted into ACE.  All responses from ACE are then automatically processed back into the F-ace Rail database.  Customers can receive automated e-mails for any updates, as needed.  Some of these include status notifications of holds, broker notifications, FDA updates, consist processing, secondary notifications, etc.  Status updates can also be sent back to the customer’s originating system.

Processing data into F-ace Rail can be as automated as the customer needs.  For example:

  • The rail customer sends EDI-417 waybill files.  These files are automatically processed into the rail database and a bill of lading number is automatically assigned (calculated from the car number and the waybill date).  After the bill of lading is validated, it is automatically submitted to Customs (by sending an EDI-309 file – Customs manifest).
  • For cars entering the U.S. – U.S. Customs sends back an EDI-355 message (acceptance/rejection) and that is automatically processed into the rail database.  The bill status is updated and logged).  U.S. Customs also sends EDI-350 messages (Customs status information) with status updates.
  • The rail customer also sends EDI-418 (rail advance interchange consist) files.  These files are automatically processed into the customer’s rail database and the train ID is automatically assigned (calculated from the train symbol, a table in the system and EDA provided in the file).  After the consist is validated, it is automatically submitted to Customs (by sending an EDI-358 file – Customs consist information).
  • For trains entering the U.S. – U.S. Customs sends back an EDI-355 message (acceptance/rejection) and that is automatically processed into the rail database (and the bill status is updated and logged).  U.S. Customs also sends EDI-350 messages (Customs status information) with status updates.
  • Amendments/corrections are also processed automatically/electronically – via the same process.
  • Manual amendments and corrections are also processed. The system forces the users to submit any amended data to Customs prior to exiting the option.
  • Arrivals and in-bond movements are also processed automatically.
  • Any actions are logged into the transaction log for every bill of lading and consist. Therefore a complete history is available.
  • Shipper, consignee, broker and other party information is automatically processed from the EDI-417 files.  Tables can also be used that will also automatically assign brokers for specific shippers or consignees.  Line release tables are also available.  These can be as specific or general, as preferred.
  • We have automated e-mail processing lists for processing manifest documents, processed/rejected consists, EDI-315 messages (status details) from other carriers.  The customers can be notified automatically (via e-mail) of any problems or errors on their cars, containers or trains.
  • A variety of reports are also available.  The most common are Inward Train reports, Outward Train reports, Broker Entry status reports, Report of cars on-hold, Report of open In-bonds, FDA reports and Manifest Errors reports.  Customer-specific customized reports are also available.

CBP is working to build an electronic manifest process for exporting via ACE.  Flagship is working closely with CBP and will be adding exporting functionality to our current F-ace Rail product, once available.