When transporting cargo into the US, there is usually one important thing that the highway carrier needs to confirm before crossing the border.  Is there an entry number matching to my PAPS number?

PAPS (Pre-Arrival Processing System) is known to trucking companies as those bar-coded stickers that are placed on the commercial invoice before faxing or emailing to the customs broker.   The PAPS sticker is comprised of the carrier’s SCAC code and a sequential number.  The sequential number is important since these numbers can not be repeated for 3 years.

Below is an example of a PAPS sticker.

CBP ACE Truck Manifest System

Trucking companies need to report their manifest details electronically to CBP no later than one (1) hour before the arrival of the truck at the border.  The CBP system that trucking companies report these manifest details is called ACE Truck Manifest.  ACE stands for Automated Commercial Environment.  Trucking companies can enter the details by using the CBP ACE Portal, connect directly to CBP using EDI (this involves a large amount of effort and best used by companies that have a dedicated IT team to manage this project) or subscribe to a company that offers software connectivity packages to highway carriers such as Customs City Global Solutions Inc.

When entering the PAPS number into the ACE Truck Manifest System the field might be shown as Shipment Control Number.

Customs Brokers Generate Entry Numbers in ABI (Automated Broker Interface)

After the highway carrier faxes or emails, their paperwork to the customs broker (with PAPS sticker on the commercial invoice) the customs broker will proceed to enter the commercial invoice details into the ABI system at CBP.  ABI is now part of the larger CBP platform known as ACE.

The first thing the customs broker will enter when creating the entry in ABI is the transaction number or otherwise known as the entry number.  The customs broker also needs to enter the PAPS number or also known as the bill of lading number in ABI.  Since the customs broker has included the PAPS number in the ABI transaction, CBP will route the entry number back to the highway carrier if the highway carrier’s ACE Manifest is accepted and the customs broker’s ABI transaction is accepted.

PAPS Pre-Arrival Processing System ABI Entry Number

How can Highway Carriers be Notified of the Entry Number from the Customs Broker?

This can happen in several ways such as:

  • A service provider like Customs City Global Solutions will email or text a copy of the entry number to the driver once it’s ready
  • The driver can check the customs broker website by entering their PAPS number which will display the entry number on the customs brokers website if it is ready
  • Customers using Customs City can also check our website for the status of the PAPS number if they created their ACE Truck Manifest in our system.
PAPS Pre-Arrival Processing System ABI Entry Number

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