US Customs’ Automated Export System makes shipping product overseas an easier undertaking.

Companies that export from the US to any foreign country, are required to file an AES (Automated Export System) record for each shipment.

While many may be unclear about how the AES functions, the benefits are numerous. Providing exporters with the basic information to understand and work with the process is the purpose of this brief post. Through the Automated Export System, filing exports is simple, fast, and more accurate. This is to a greater degree than was the case with the former system. In the past, the proces was labor-intensive, paper-driven, and error-prone. Here in a nutshell, is what exporters now need to know about today’s Automated Export System or AES.

How it works

When the exporter decides to ship merchandise out of the country, the exporter or its authorized agent sends the commodity information, in the form of Electronic Export Information, through the AES, which in turn checks the data against government requirements, and editing tables, and sends back a confirmation or error message, depending on the circumstance. Participating carriers will send shipping reports and, ultimately, the entire export manifest through the Automated Export System, which in turn verifies the data and sends back a confirmation or error message, depending on the circumstance. Any errors must be quickly corrected and returned to ensure the smooth flow of export and compliance.

How it helps

The benefits of the AES are myriad for all parties involved. Benefits include:

  • Export compliance ensured: With a sophisticated editing system and swift corrections by the exporter and carrier, compliance is guaranteed, and an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) confirms successful filing of compliant documentation;
  • Accuracy enhanced: Because of the swift and real-time feedback to indicate errors or omissions, corrections may be made on the spot;
  • Costs decreased: Duplicate reporting is eliminated along with much of the cost of corrections and less-efficient, paper-based systems; some larger corporations have reported savings in the millions of dollars;
  • Paper reviews of licenses eliminated: The interface with the Bureau of Industry and Security and Directorate of Defense Trade Controls electronically validates data against previously-approved licenses and automatically sends the transaction electronically to the appropriate agency;
  • Market evaluation data available: Exporting businesses have a greater potential for global success due to access to timely export statistics from accurate trade data.

How to know when to file

Exporters must file an AES record on all qualifying shipments of physical goods leaving the US bound for any foreign location. Shipments are defined as any merchandise sent from one US Principle Party in Interest (the US entity who is the primary benefactor of transaction) on the same transportation vessel going to the same location on the same day with a value over $2,500 per Schedule B item or license. In other words, any shipment sent at the same time via the same vessel with a combined value of over $2,500 qualifies as one Automated Export System report.

If the cargo is being transported via ship through an international logistics and transportation company of choice, the report must be filed 24 hours prior to loading; via truck, one hour prior to arrival at the border; via air, two hours prior to departure; via rail, two hours prior to arrival at the border; and via mail, two hours prior to export.

Further information and assistance can be found at the very helpful website for the Automated Export System.