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NDTO News Article

Export Documentation: What to know about Filing an EEI with the AES

The Electronic Export Information (EEI) is the form completed on the Automated Export System (AES). But this isn’t just another mandatory export document. The AES and information provided on the EEI work together as a valuable tool to help navigate the complex world of international trade.

The U.S. Census Bureau administers the AES and the data is reported to several other government agencies, including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While it is a federally required part of the exporting documentation process, getting it right can have a variety of impacts. Keep in mind that you only need to file an EEI when the value of a commodity classified under Schedule B is over $2,500 or an export license is required.

The goal of the AES is to streamline efficiency by enabling electronic data submission. The red tape is reduced, and the reporting process can move smoothly. U.S. law requires that most exports from the U.S. be reported through the AES. Exporters or their authorized agents are responsible for filing export information electronically through AES before the goods are shipped. With the online system, filing can be done more quickly and allows you to stay on top of the many facets of the exporting process. The controls also serve to safeguard the products leaving the country to be sure they do not contain any sensitive technologies that could be used in a way you did not intend. These regulations are in place for a reason, and proper use of the system can help protect potentially harmful international exports.

Export documentation like the EEI should not be overlooked. “The most important thing in terms of the documentation and transportation is to make sure the data on the EEI is correct and to have the proper H.S. codes [Harmonized System],” says Jiwon Kim, NDTO’s Director of Global Business Development, “HS codes are used to determine tariffs, and can provide some valuable data on market feasibility.”

When completing an EEI filing, you will need several key pieces of information and documentation to ensure accurate and compliant reporting.

Here’s a list of what is typically required when completing an AES filing:

  • Exporter Information: Your business details.
  • Consignee Information: Details of the party receiving the goods.
  • Commodity Information: Description, HS Codes, quantity, weight, and value of goods.
  • Shipment Details: Mode of transport, ports, and expected dates.
  • License and Regulatory Info: Export licenses, permits, and regulatory requirements.
  • Value of Goods: Total value, including all costs.
  • Party to Transaction: Responsible party and payment terms.
  • EEI Submission: Submit electronically through AES.
  • Supporting Documentation: Invoices, bills of lading, and relevant certificates.
  • Destination Country’s Requirements: Check specific customs requirements for the destination.
  • Verification: Double-check all information for accuracy and compliance.

As part of the bigger picture, data from the AES is used to track trends, understand the economic impacts, and create policies. Several places use this data to determine a host of information that provides valuable insights, safeguards, and even policy decisions for the future of trade.

  • Census Bureau uses this data to compile official U.S. export statistics, which are published regularly and provide valuable insights into U.S. trade trends.
  • Customs and Border Protection ensures that exported goods comply with any U.S. Export Controls, licensing, and trade sanctions.
  • The Bureau of Industry and Security uses the data to ensure that goods are not being sent to unauthorized parties.
  • Trade Promotion Agencies can utilize this data to identify export opportunities and provide market research data.
  • Governmental economists can also use aggregated data to assist and analyze exports for policy-making and track trade balances.

So, the next time you think about the AES and EEIs, don’t see it as a chore. Embrace it as part of the support system to navigate you through the complexities of global trade. As part of that ecosystem to support you on your global trade journey, contact the NDTO for support at