Exporters that move goods out of the United States report shipments using the Automated Export System (AES) in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The Census Bureau and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) collect export data for statistics purposes and trade control. For example, CBP uses export data to determine whether the merchandise ends up with unauthorized parties or parties that pose a threat to national security.
Electronic Export Information (EEI) is the electronic version of Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) form 7525-V. EEI provides export statistics to the U.S. Census Bureau and serves as an export control document for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The EEI contains export information about a shipment moving out of the U.S.
EEI filings are required for all shipments from the U.S., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and from the U.S. or Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands, also if the shipment meets the following criteria:
The shipment is valued at over $2,500 and sent from the same exporter to the same recipient on the same day.
The shipment, regardless of value or destination, contains items that require a license or permit.
The item, regardless of value or destination, is subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
The shipment, regardless of value or destination, contains used self-propelled vehicles.
The shipment, regardless of value or destination, contains rough or uncut diamonds.
The shipment, regardless of value, is being sent to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.
Certain shipments do not require EEI filing. EEI filing is not required for shipments from the U.S. to Canada, unless the shipment is subject to ITAR, requires an export license or permit, or contains rough diamonds. Shipments valued under $2,500 by Schedule B number that do not require a license are exempt from EEI filing with exemption code NOEEI 30.37(a).
EEI is also not required for shipments going to American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Howland Islands and Wake Island, or shipments from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. or Puerto Rico.
Who Can File the EEI?
The exporter usually files the EEI. It can be the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) or the person who mainly benefits from the exported shipment: the USPPI’s authorized agent, or the authorized agent of the foreign buyer (also known as the Foreign Principal Party in Interest or FPPI).
An example of an authorized agent is a freight forwarder. The USPPI must provide a Power of Attorney (POA) or other written authorization (usually a Shipper’s Letter of Instruction) that shows what the freight forwarder is expected to do. For routed export transactions, the FPPI can provide the POA to the USPPI or freight forwarder.
While exporters can hire authorized agents to file the EEI on their behalf, exporters are ultimately responsible for the completeness, accuracy and timeliness of the information. Failure to transmit accurate and timely EEI may lead to heavy monetary penalties.
EEI Important Data Elements
Before filing EEI in ACE, it’s helpful to understand the following definitions:
USPPI EIN or ID No.: U.S. Principal Party in Interest "EIN" is the Employer Identification Number (Tax ID) if the shipper is a corporation. If the shipper is an individual, provide the Social Security Number.
Parties to Transaction: The parties involved in the export transaction. Indicate whether the shipper and the consignee are unrelated or subsidiaries of the same company.
Ultimate Consignee: The Ultimate Consignee is the end user of merchandise being shipped. Provide the
Ultimate Consignee only if it differs from the consignee on the bill of lading or waybill.
Country of Ultimate Destination: This is the country where the shipment will be used.
Value: Value is the selling price of the merchandise or cost if not sold.
Schedule B Number: This is the Commodity Classification Number or Harmonized Code Number.
D/F/ or M (Domestic or Foreign in AES): Indicates whether the merchandise is made or manufactured in the U.S. (domestic or D); or made or manufactured outside the U.S. (foreign or F).
License Number: To find out if you need to provide an export License Number or License Exception Symbol, go to the Bureau of Industry and Security website or call the U.S. Department of Commerce.
ECCN: The Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is required for any item shipped under an export license or license exception symbol (except temporary export license exception) and most of no license required.
EEI Data Requirements
An export filing in AESDirect has four major sections: shipment, parties, commodities, and transportation.
Email response address
Shipment reference number
Mode of transport
Port of export
Port of unlading
Country of Destination
Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)
Import Entry No.
Routed Transaction indicator
USPPI and Ultimate Consignee relationship
Hazardous material indicator
Parties (USPPI, Ultimate Consignee, Freight Forwarder and Intermediate Consignee):
ID number type
First and last name
Sold en route – Cargo will be sold while in transit
Export Information Code
Schedule B/HTS No.
1st and 2nd quantity
1st and 2nd unit of measure
Origin of goods
Value of goods
License type code/license exemption code
Used vehicles indicator
Participating government agency data indicator
Conveyance name/carrier name
Transportation Reference Number
EEI Filing Timeframes
The timeframe for filing EEI depends on the mode of transport and type of shipment. In general, items on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) must be filed earlier than items that are not on the list.
Truck 1 hour before the truck arrives at border crossing
Rail 2 hours before the train arrives at the U.S. border
Ocean Vessel 24 hours before loading the cargo on the vessel
Air 2 hours before scheduled departure
Mail 2 hours before export
Other modes of transport 2 hours before export
Truck 8 hours before the truck arrives at border crossing
Rail 24 hours before the train arrives at the U.S. border
Ocean Vessel 24 hours before loading the cargo on the vessel
Air 8 hours before scheduled departure
The legacy AESDirect system is now retired, and all exporters must file EEI in the refactored AESDirect in ACE. Exporters that will use AESDirect to file EEI must have an ACE account. After obtaining an ACE exporter account, you can access the web-based ACE Secure Data Portal and go to AESDirect. Exporters can also use AESDirect software provided by a CBP-approved vendor like Global eTrade Services (GeTS).
Once in AESDirect, provide all required information in the shipment, parties, commodities and transportation sections and submit the filing. The system will tell if you if you need to correct something. If the system accepts the EEI filing, you will receive an Internal Transaction Number (ITN). The ITN serves as proof that you have successfully filed the EEI. The ITN should be included on export documents to show the freight forwarder, CBP and shipping company that you have filed the EEI. For EEI-exempt shipments, provide the exemption statement.
GeTS helps exporters streamline EEI processing and save time with industry leading trade facilitation solutions. The GeTS AES web-based service allows users to enter EEI details quickly, receive an ITN within seconds, and produce supporting documentation. The AES XML Integrated Enterprise reduces time spent online and minimizes errors.
GeTS eManifest solutions feature a secure corporate account for enterprise users, 24/7 customer support (including expert assistance on customs compliance issues), streamlined and easy-to-use application that reduces data entry, multiple plans, and connectivity options. There are no extra charges for the set-up and no hidden fees. Visit our website to learn more about AES.