In first quarter 2006, a US Census Bureau amendment to Foreign Trade Statistics Regulations (FTSR) is expected to replace paper export shipment filing of the Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) with mandatory Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing through the Automated Export System (AES). The amendment requires all US exporters to comply.
When will the rules change?
The new mandatory export filing rules are expected to become effective first quarter 2006. All shipments will then be tracked via AES, a computerized system for management of cargo export information. Mandatory electronic filing for all shipments will enable better coordination among Federal agencies sharing information about exports. In accordance with government procedure, exporters must implement the filing change within 90 days of the published effective date. Businesses should examine their export practices immediately to be sure of their ability to accommodate export declaration changes.
What must exporters do?
Under the changed rules, shippers will be required to file through AES and receive acceptance of their AES filing in the form of an Internal Transaction Number (ITN), or provide a post-departure exemption to the carrier. (Carriers will not take the goods and shipments will not move without the ITN or AES exemption statement.) Exporters will continue to file their own export declarations (for pre-departure or post-departure), or use an agent to file on their behalf (for pre-departure filings only). Self-filing exporters must confirm their ability to move to an electronic filing mechanism for all exports by the government deadline. Various government and third-party technology options can be used for AES filing - examples include JPMorgan Chase Vastera’s TradeSphere Exporter and Census’ AESDirect.
Significant civil and criminal penalties accompany the AES rule changes. Penalties will be assessed for late or incorrect AES filings up to a maximum of $10,000 per violation (one transaction can have numerous violations). Effective export compliance processes to address rule changes should be established and in place to address AES requirements immediately. Current shipping processes should be audited to ensure their effectiveness and compliance with Census AES rule changes. Export Compliance Assessments and Audits are available from JPMorgan Chase Vastera’s Trade Management Consulting Group.