Global AMS-CSI Gateway

Global AMS-CSI Gateway

Received by HAFFA on 6 Dec 2002


Global AMS-CSI Gateway



FCS Proposal


Global AMS-CSI Gateway Service

1.0 Introduction

The purpose of this document is for Flagship Customs Services, Inc. (FCS) to provide a proposal to HAFFA MEMBERS for the provision of a turnkey global service that will allow HAFFA MEMBERS to fully comply with the U.S. Customs AMS-CSI Regulations and Procedures.

The Trade Act 2002 and subsequent regulations have drastically altered the way that Vessel Owning Common Carriers (VOCCs) and None Vessel Owning Common Carriers (NVOCCs) will interact with the U.S. Government to process cargo being imported into or transiting through the United States. These regulations will require fundamental changes to existing business and operational procedures and their support systems.

FCS is the leading Internet Application Service Provider (ASP) for the International Trade Business Sector and the partner of choice for over 12000 companies of all sizes and governmental entities. In addition FCS is the largest independent provider of electronic interfaces into both the Automated Manifest System (AMS) and the Automated Export System (AES). As such, FCS has provided and maintained electronic links into US Customs since the early 1990s.

FCS owns and operates two mirrored and redundant data centers that currently support a family of B2G Gateway Services, including:

  • Import2000 Family of Products and Services
  • Export2000
  • AESDirect
  • AES2000
  • MQ*Customs

FCS B2G Gateway Services are currently supporting: 12,000+ client users generating 500,000+ documents per month, and 1,000,000+ transactions per month

Specifically the FCS Import2000 Software and Service is designed and implemented to ensure that the NVOCC or VOCC fully complies with the AMS-CSI regulations and procedures.

A summary of key new requirements, fully supported and strictly enforced by the Import2000 software and service, include:

  • The USCS will be requesting that the filing carrier file their complete import manifest for each POL (for all PODs) 24 hours prior to departure from each POL. This will be required for all POLs worldwide.
  • The filer will be required to report all manifest cargo including FROB (foreign-to-foreign) and Empty Containers into AMS. There is a strictly enforced process to govern the filing of this data.
  • Enforced use of the U.S. Customs Secondary Notify Party (SNP) capability to ensure effective and timely communication between the VOCC and NVOCC concerning the filing and status of Bills of Lading.
  • Additional information such as Pre-Carrier Receipt and detailed container information, including seal number(s), will be required to be provided to AMS on the import manifest.
  • All NVOCC cargo will be required to be filed at the House Bill level.
  • All amendments to the initial manifest will be strictly monitored by USCS and other government agencies.

2.0 FCS AMS-CSI Solution

2.1 Overview

FCS is proposing that HAFFA MEMBERS implement the FCS Import2000 Service to allow them to fully comply globally with the new AMS-CSI regulations in the timeframe imposed by the regulations.

The FCS AMS-CSI solution is an Internet and data center based service and is comprised of the following major components:

•Central AMS CSI Engine - Import2000 CSI Software

•Global Manifest Data Entry and Response Service

•MQ connectivity to U.S. Customs

•Mirrored and Redundant Data Center Facility and Operations

FCS will provide HAFFA MEMBERS a complete turnkey CSI solution using these existing capabilities. Specifically the Central AMS CSI Engine and the Global Manifest Data

Entry and Response capability will be provided as a seamless and integrated Import2000 Service allowing global manifest data entry and ensuring strict CSI compliant submissions to AMS.

In addition, FCS is able to offer the additional capabilities to HAFFA MEMBERS as the need arises. These include:

•SNP Capability and Software

•Global Container Load Alert Service

•Export Manifest and SED filing capability

2.1 Import2000 AMS-CSI Software

The Import2000 AMS-CSI Software, which was originally developed and has been in use since the early 90’s, is a complete AMS-CSI interface offering the following major features:

•Strictly Enforces all AMS/CSI Data Requirements

•Supports Full Customs AMS/CSI Operations

•Allows FROB Cargo and Empties

•Has Full User Access Control – Port of Load, Port of Discharge, All Functions

•Automated or On-Demand Manifest Submission by POL

•Enforces SNP encoding by Vessel/Voyage

•Automated B/L and Container Release Algorithm

•Keyed Entry or EDI B/L input as/where required

•EDI Output of B/L and Status to in-house System option

•Service or In-house – smooth transition when required

This software will ensure that all messages sent by HAFFA MEMBERS to The U.S. Customs AMS system fully comply with the CSI regulations. It will also ensure the correct receipt and processing of all messages received from AMS.

2.2 Global Manifest Data Entry and Response Service

Key requirements of any AMS-CSI compliant user interface are:

  • Global capture of manifest data 24 hours prior to load at each Port of Load
  • Ability to support worldwide implementation
  • Compliance with all CSI data and process regulations
  • User data and access control by Port of Load and service functions.
  • Instant global visibility to U.S. Customs status and messages

To fully meet all of these demands FCS has created a Global Manifest Data Entry and Response Service. This service provides an Internet/browser based user interface that has global reach and is seamlessly integrated in to the Core FCS AMS-CSI Software. This provides a complete CSI solution for each user and corporately for HAFFA MEMBERS. The only requirement to fully access this service is a desktop computer, Internet access, and a browser.

The major features of this service are listed below.

•POL Based Manifest Data Entry

•User Access and Security Controlled Centrally by filing carrier

•WWW Based - Requires Only Browser and Internet Access

•Seamless Integration into Carrier/NVOCC SAMS Central System

•Supports Full EDI links

•Provides Full CSI compliant AMS Data Entry and Amendment

•U. S. Customs Responses Available On-line

•Full On-line Help

2.3 FCS Mirrored and Redundant Data Centers

The Import2000 Services resides and runs in secure data center facility owned and operated by FCS.

The FCS data centers currently support the daily operation of over 12, 000 companies filing over 500,000 documents, and over transactions into the U.S. Government U.S. Customs Systems.

The design and architecture of these data centers offers unlimited scalability and unequalled data security.

The key features of the FCS Data Centers are listed below:

•Two fully Mirrored/Redundant Data Center facilities

•Data Centers in Operation since 1994

•All Data Centers Certified by U.S. Government

•7*24 Monitored Operations

•Full Hot Standby and Disaster Recovery Capability

•Multiple Redundant T1 Internet Connections

•Multiple Redundant MQ Connection to U.S. Customs

An overview of one of the FCS Data Center Operations is shown overleaf

2.4 FCS Data Center MQ Connectivity to U.S. Customs

All FCS services utilize MQ Technology to connect to U.S. Customs. MQ Technology is the telecommunications method of choice of U.S. Customs. FCS believes that no other connection method will support CSI operational requirements. Even though users have the security of an MQ connection to U.S. Customs, this is a background and transparent capability, all user interfaces are conducted through a secured connection to the Internet. Thus, users are provided with the ease of use and connectivity of the Internet with the benefits of a dedicated MQ connection to AMS.

The key features of MQ, as implemented by FCS, compared to other older connection methods are listed below:

Other SNA Connections Offer……FCS MQ To Customs Connection Offers……

Unsecured ConnectionVsSecured Encrypted Connection

Limited (luck of the draw) Access and CapacityVsConnection Always Available

Phone Outage and Disconnection by CustomsVsDedicated, Stable, Monitored Connection

No-automated Back-up if DisconnectedVsAutomatic ISDN Switched Back-up

Speed Connection 9.6 Kb - 14.4KbVsBroadband Connection

Links to Low-Tech Customs Batch ProcessVsLinks to High Tech Customs Transaction Process

The FCS MQ Connection to AMS offers: Response Time of 2 – 3 Minutes, Full Scalability with Guaranteed No Loss of Data

2.4 User System Requirements

To access and use the Import2000 Service requires no computer hardware or software investment. Import2000 users need only a computer capable of running one of the web browsers listed below with a dial-up, or dedicated Internet connection.

Recommended User Computer Operating System:

Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP
Processor: 486DX2/66 or Faster (i.e. Intel Pentium, AMD K6 or K7)
Memory: At Least 16MB (Windows 95/98), 32MB (Windows NT)
Hard Drive Space: 25-100 MB

Connection Speed
If you are using a modem to access Import2000 you should have a modem capable of at least 28.8 Kbs. Modems that are capable of higher rates (33.6 Kbps or 56 Kbps), or broadband connections are recommended for better performance.

Supported Web Browsers
Import2000 is designed to support Netscape Navigator/Communicator Versions 4.x and higher, and Microsoft Internet Explorer Versions 4.x, 5.x, and 6.x.

3.0 FCS AMS-CSI Proposal

FCS proposals to make the Import2000 AMS-CSI Service available to HAFFA MEMBERS, as follows:

The services and charges detailed below pertain to set-up, usage, and maintenance associated with the following SCAC code(s):


One Time Costs:

One Time Environment Set Up and AMS Certification Fee:US$1000

Optional training at FCS locationUS$1000/day

On-Line Training via the WWWUS$100/person/class

Monthly Usage Fee:

For each calendar month:

For Bills of Lading Transactions 1 - 4000:US$1.00 per Bill of Lading

For Bills of Lading Transactions: 4000+ US$0.75 cents per Bill of Lading

A minimum charge of US$250 per month will apply. This minimum charge will not apply in any month that the number of Bills of Lading exceeds 250.

A Bill of Lading Transaction is a single Production Bill of Lading created by HAFFA MEMBERS in the Import2000 Service.


  • No additional charge is made concerning the number of times a Bill of Lading is transmitted to the AMS system.
  • No additional charge is made concerning any and all responses received from the AMS system.

At any time, with 30 days written notice to FCS, HAFFA MEMBERS may request to be transferred to a fixed monthly subscription fee of US$5,000 per month. This fixed subscription fee will provide for unlimited Bills of Lading and fully replace the Bill of Lading transaction charge. The transfer to a fixed monthly subscription fee will occur on the first day of the month following the 30 day notification.

Invoices will be rendered monthly. HAFFA MEMBERS will pay all invoices within thirty (30) days of the receipt.


  • Import2000 CSI environment maintained to be in compliance with U.S. Customs AMS System
  • Import2000 CSI environment maintained to support the requirements of U.S. Customs CSI Program
  • Correction of all identified software errors
  • Full monitored data center operations to ensure 7*24 connectivity

Usage Available:

Unlimited number of Bills of Lading from the specified SCAC code(s)

Consulting Services:

Consulting Services will be charged per FCS contact rate, currently US$125.00/hour. Examples of chargeable items include but not limited to:

  • Software Development and Testing associated with creating EDI links or any other software customization.
  • Additional training, on-site or by phone.
  • Assistance to run the system on behalf of the client.
  • Liaison with US Customs to resolve clearance problems, except in cases where the FCS service is at fault or gave less than clear information.

All Software Development and Testing will be the subject of a separate fixed price quotation and agreement between FCS and HAFFA MEMBERS.

Travel and Living Expenses:

Any authorized travel and living expenses will be billed at cost. Only expenses pre-approved by HAFFA MEMBERS will be incurred.

User connection to the Import2000 Service:

Unlimited number of users for the specified SCAC code(s).

HAFFA MEMBERS Phone Support:

Unlimited phone support for users of the system for the specified SCAC code(s), except, any single problem that takes more than 2 hours of time to resolve will be billed at a rate of US$125.00 per hour (or part of).

4.0 Summary Implementation Plan

FCS would propose the following implementation plan:

•November 2002

• Sign agreements

• Produce joint detail implementation schedule

• FCS Set up AMS environment

• FCS Set up Import2000 environment

•December 2002

•Import2000 Training for key USA staff

•FCS/HAFFA MEMBERS set-up initial users with appropriate functional and POL mapping to support operational procedures

•AMS certification completed

•Initial rollout of Import2000 at selected POL(s)

•January 2003

•First production manifest filed at selected POL(s)

•Full roll-out of Service (by POL)

2003+ As Required

•Introduction of EDI input from POL(s)

•Introduction of Global Alert Service as required

•Export manifest filing as required

•Transition systems from service to in-house

Flagship Customs Services, Inc.

FCS Import2000 Agreement

Between: ______with an office at______(hereinafter referred to as "Customer"), and Flagship Customs Services Inc. of 1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1225, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (hereinafter referred to as "FCS"):

Agreement Effective Date:__/__/2002

Agreement Initial Anniversary Date:__/__/2003

Services Provided

Subject to the terms and conditions contained herein and subject to the applicable terms and conditions of the Price Schedule contained in Appendix A, FCS agrees to furnish access to the Import2000 CSI Computer Service and Customer agrees to same in accordance with this Agreement.

The Import2000 CSI Computer Service provides Customer access to the Import2000 CSI Software running on an FCS data center facility. The Import2000 CSI Software provides Customer the ability to enter, validate, and display data in accordance to the standards set by the U.S. Customs Automated Manifest System (AMS) and the Container Security Initiative (CSI), and to send this data to and receive response from AMS. In addition, the Import2000 CSI Software will contain the reports listed in Appendix B.

Unless otherwise specifically stated, the services provided by FCS do not include equipment or devices or charges for the transmission or receipt of the service or services at Customer's location, and Customer, at its own expense and independent of this Agreement, will procure and obtain any and all of such necessary equipment and supplemental services.

Specific Computer Services and Pricing

Customer by accessing and using the Import2000 CSI Computer Service of FCS agrees, upon receipt of billing to pay the then applicable charges for such services as set forth in Appendix A. FCS reserves the right to add, withdraw or modify any particular service in the interest of maximizing the effectiveness of its services.

Prices applicable to the services provided hereunder do not include sales, use, excise, value, utility or other similar taxes. Consequently, in addition to the specified prices, the amount of any present or future sales, use, excise, value added, utility, or other similar tax applicable to the sale of services hereunder shall be paid by the Customer, or in lieu thereof, Customer shall provide FCS with a tax-exemption certificate acceptable to the taxing authorities.

General Terms and Conditions

1. Term and Termination of Agreement

1a. Term

This initial term of this Agreement shall be six (6) calendar months, from the Effective Date to the Initial Anniversary Date of the Agreement. This Agreement shall be in full force and effect during this period. Thereafter this Agreement shall renew automatically for an additional six (6) calendar months on the first and each successive Anniversary Date unless terminated. This Agreement may be terminated by either party by such party providing written notice of termination to the other party no less than thirty (30) days prior to each Anniversary Date.

1b. Termination

Customer may terminate the Import2000 CSI Computer Service, effective upon notice thereof to FCS, if FCS neglects, breaches, or fails to perform or observe any of the terms or obligations set forth in this Agreement for the specified service, provided that FCS shall have thirty (30) days after receipt of notice from Customer to cure said breach.

2. Price Schedule Amendment

FCS may change any aspect of the Price Schedule, effective on each Anniversary Date, by providing written notice of such change to Customer no less than sixty (60) days prior to each Anniversary Date. Changes to the Price Schedule will not be intended to increase unit costs except to cater for industry standard cost inflation...

3. Service Availability and Data Security

All data submitted by Customer to The Import2000 CSI Computer Service shall be considered by FCS to be private to Customer. FCS shall hold all such data in a private and secure manner and will not disclose, or permit to be disclosed to any third party.

Service Performance and Availability: FCS guarantees to deliver any and all data submitted by Customer to U.S. Customs to the appropriate the U.S. Customs system. FCS guarantees to make available for access by Customer any and all data received from the U.S. Customs system addressed to Customer. In relation to items under its direct control FCS will make best efforts to maintain the overall availability of The Import2000 CSI computer Service to a 100% level.

4. User Code Assignment

The FCS will assign any necessary User Code(s), or other special identifying or system features as may be necessary. On receipt of such from the FCS the Customer assumes full responsibility for the security of such User Code(s), or other special identifying or system features.

5. File Security

Should Customer's files or data be lost or destroyed directly for whatever reason, Customer's exclusive remedy is as follows: FCS will be responsible for the reconstruction of Customer's files or data at the lowest cost to FCS, provided the data is available to FCS on storage media in FCS's control.

6. Improvements and General Administration

In order to continuously improve the quality of service and support thereof to the Customer, the FCS reserves the right to designate and make changes in rules of operation, accessibility periods, Customer identification, administrative procedures, and functional changes to the Import200 CSI Computer Service and Software.