EEI FAQ

The following are the most frequent questions we've received concerning the recent changes to Electronic Export Information (EEI, formerly known as Shipper's Export Declaration or SED).

ShowFAQ
1. When were the new Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) published?

On June 2, 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau published the final rule amending Title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30, Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) in its entirety. This rule mandates electronic filing of all shipments requiring Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) information through the Automated Export System (AES) by the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) or its authorized agent. SED information filed to AES will now be known as Electronic Export Information (EEI). 

Questions concerning the FTR may be directed to the Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch, Foreign Trade Division, Census Bureau at 1.800.549.0595, option 3, or via e-mail at FTDRegs@census.gov.

2. How much time will I have to become compliant with the new FTR regarding the mandatory electronic filing of EEI to AES?

The requirements under the new FTR are effective July 2, 2008, which means all provisions in the FTR should be observed. However, the Census Bureau is providing an additional 90 days, until Sept. 30, 2008, to allow exporters to become compliant with the regulations. Until Sept. 30, 2008, informed compliance is in effect. Starting Oct. 1, 2008, enforced compliance takes effect, and fines and penalties for violations of the FTR may be imposed.

3. What are the major changes with the new FTR?

  • The name of the Foreign Trade Statistics Regulations (FTSR) has changed to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR).
  • The paper SED (form 7525-V) will no longer be a method of filing export declarations.
  • New FTR exemptions and exclusions were added to the new regulations. See FTR chart for more details.
  • The AES External Transaction Number (XTN) format can no longer be used as a proof of filing for any purposes.
  • AES Option 4 filers are now known as AES postdeparture filers.
  • The valid AES proof of filing citation formats are:
  1. AES Predeparture — Internal Transaction Number (ITN). The ITN is issued when AES has received the data and has approved the shipment for export. An example is AES X20080702456789.
  2. AES Postdeparture — USPPI is filing the EEI (formerly Option 4). An example is AESPOST 34523489700 07/02/2008.
  3. AES Downtime (can only be used when AES or AESDirect is unavailable and AES has authorized its use). An example is: AESDOWN 34523489700 07/02/2008.
  • Filing deadlines for EEIs transmitted predeparture are:
    • Air (non-USML shipments): No later than two hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the aircraft.
    • Air (USML shipments): No later than eight hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the aircraft.
  • Penalties:
    • Civil penalties for late filed EEI or failure to file increased from $100 to $1,100 for each day delinquent and the maximum increased from $1,000 to $10,000 per violation. Civil penalties for filing false and/or misleading information and involvement of illegal activities increased from $1,000 to $10,000 per violation.
    • New criminal penalties for filing false and/or misleading information may be up to $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, for each violation.

4. Will FedEx electronic shipping solutions support the new FTR?

Yes. FedEx Ship Manager® at fedex.com and the newest version of FedEx electronic shipping software will roll out features to support the FTR and AES proof of filing citations for FedEx Express shipments.

5. Can paper Shipper's Export Declarations (SEDs) be submitted to FedEx after Sept. 30, 2008?

Paper SEDs will only be accepted for FedEx Express shipments when the shipper submits a paper air waybill with the shipment. In this instance, the shipper must also provide a completed FedEx Export AgentFile® form, allowing FedEx to submit the documentation on their behalf. Shippers may also self-file directly with AESDirect if they provide the internal transaction number (ITN) along with the shipment as proof of filing with AES.

6. What is Automated Export System (AES)?

The Automated Export System (AES), including AESDirect, collects EEI (or any successor document) from persons exporting goods from the U.S., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands; between Puerto Rico and the U.S.; and to the U.S. Virgin Islands from the U.S. or Puerto Rico.

7. What is AESDirect?

AESDirect is a free Internet application supported by the U.S. Census Bureau that allows USPPIs or their authorized agents to transmit EEI through the AES via the Internet at www.aesdirect.gov.

8. What is the purpose of EEI?

The EEI is used for compiling the official U.S. export statistics and for export control purposes.

9. When is an EEI required?

Refer to About EEI and the FTR Exemptions for more details.

10. Why is the EEI filed in the AES confidential?

The EEI is confidential and used solely for official purposes and neither the EEI nor its contents may be disclosed to anyone except the USPPI or their authorized agent.

11. Who can file the EEI?

The USPPI or their authorized agent may file the EEI through the AES.

12. Who is the USPPI in an export transaction?

The U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) is the person or legal entity in the U.S. that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the export transaction. Generally, that person or entity is the U.S. seller, manufacturer or order party, or the foreign entity while in the U.S. when purchasing or obtaining the goods for export.

13. What is an authorized agent and how does a USPPI appoint one?

An authorized agent prepares and files the EEI record on behalf of the USPPI. The USPPI appoints an authorized agent by giving a properly executed power of attorney or written authorization to an agent or forwarder that is certified for filing to AES.

14. Can I make a correction to an EEI record?

Yes.

  • If you self-file using AESDirect, you will need to retrieve the shipment record, correct the data and retransmit the EEI.
  • If an authorized agent filed the EEI, you will need to contact the authorized agent with your corrections or cancellations.
  • If you used FedEx Export AgentFile® at fedex.com, and if the shipment was exported within the last 45 days, you can retrieve the shipment record, correct the data and retransmit the EEI. If greater than 45 days, contact FedEx EEI Operations at 1.866.352.3252 to make your corrections.
  • If you used the manual fax process for FedEx Export AgentFile, you may call FedEx EEI Operations at 1.866.352.3252 or fax corrections to 1.866.879.9037.

15. What types of EEI filing options are available with FedEx?

You may select one of the following EEI filing options based on your needs:

  • For FedEx Express shipments, the exporter or USPPI can self-file directly with AESDirect (at no charge) through FedEx Ship Manager® Software.
  • For FedEx Express shipments, the exporter or USPPI can enter the required data using FedEx Export AgentFile at fedex.com ($10 per shipment).
  • For FedEx Express or FedEx Ground shipments, the exporter or USPPI can complete, sign and manually fax a FedEx Export AgentFile form ($10 per shipment) that authorizes FedEx as their agent. Contact FedEx International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say "international services") to obtain the form.

16. What is an Internal Transaction Number (ITN)?

The ITN is the authorization to export after AES has received, accepted and approved the shipment. It is a unique number generated by AES for each shipment. The ITN must be provided on the air waybill or electronic shipping label so Customs Border Protection (CBP) is able to retrieve the shipment if needed.

17. What is an AES proof of filing citation?

The AES proof of filing citation is the notation placed on the air waybill or electronic shipping label that provides evidence that export information has been filed, received and accepted and the shipment has been approved for export by AES.

The valid AES proof of filing citation formats are:

  • AES Predeparture — Internal Transaction Number (ITN). The ITN is issued when AES has received the data and has approved the shipment for export.
    An example is AES X20080702456789.
  • AES Postdeparture — USPPI is filing the EEI (formerly Option 4).
    An example is AESPOST 34523489700 07/02/2008.
  • AES Downtime (can only be used when AES or AESDirect is unavailable and AES has authorized its use).
    An example is AESDOWN 34523489700 07/02/2008.

18. What is postdeparture and how do I become a postdeparture filer?

Postdeparture is the privilege granted to approved USPPIs to file their EEI up to 10 calendar days after the date of export. Postdeparture filing is only available for approved USPPIs. The moratorium placed on new postdeparture filers in August 2003 will remain in effect pending further review of the program.

19. If I'm shipping with FedEx, and I use AESDirect, is there information I need to get from FedEx (as the carrier) to complete the EEI filing?

Yes. You will need to get the carrier data elements, which include:

  • Port of export
  • Port of unlading*
  • Carrier identification
  • Conveyance name

*Only required for by-air shipments between the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

You can obtain FedEx Express and FedEx Ground carrier data elements by accessing the EEI Tools and Information page. You can view the EEI carrier data info or download it in CSV format.

20. Am I required to file the EEI record when I ship commodities of both foreign and domestic origin that have the same Schedule B number?

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Regulations require that items of domestic or foreign origin under the same commodity classification number be reported separately and listed if any is valued at more than $2,500.

21. Who is responsible for providing the proof of filing citation, exemption citation or postdeparture filing citation to the carrier?

The USPPI or the authorized agent is responsible for annotating the air waybill or electronic shipping label with the proof of filing citations, downtime filing citation or FTR exemption legends. The USPPI or authorized agent must provide the proof of filing citation or FTR exemption legend to the exporting carrier. The carrier must note the proof of filing citation or FTR exemption legend on the carrier’s U.S. manifest when required.

22. What is the record retention requirement for the EEI?

All parties to the export transaction (owners and operators of the exporting carriers, USPPIs and/or authorized agents) must retain documents or records pertaining to the shipment for five years from the date of export. In addition to the U.S. Census Bureau’s requirements, other government agencies may have a retention requirement beyond five years. All parties must also adhere to other agencies' requirements on retention.

23. What if I have additional EEI questions?

FedEx shippers have two ways to get help: