Can Declare Their Goods Free Online
exporters export their goods, the United States Government no longer
makes it easy to satisfy U.S. Government reporting requirements."
Alan W. Black, FedEx
Not to mislead
you, exporters or their agents must still complete and deliver a
"Shipper's Export Declaration," commonly called "SED,"
for every commodity valued over $2500. In 1995, the U.S. Customs
Service and the Foreign Trade Division of the Census Bureau introduced
a new voluntary, paperless export information reporting program
called AES, or Automated Export System. No paper, no messengers,
no cargo tie-ups and very little cost, except for the purchase or
development of special software.
as of October 4, 1999, to be exact its all on the Internet.
Its even easier, and it doesnt cost anything. It requires
only an Internet connection. Its AESDirect.
still voluntary. So if exporters or their agents really want to
fill out paper and deliver it by messenger to the cargo carrier
and then to the U.S. Customs Service, they still can. And, believe
it or not, in this age of computers -- on the eve of a new Millennium
-- most still do, just as they did a century ago.
The U.S. Customs
Service and the Foreign Trade Division of the Census Bureau hope
that most exporters will prefer AESDirect in the 21st
Century, whether you figure that as beginning in the year 2000 or
the year 2001.
is expensive. A study by the National Council on International Trade
Development revealed that processing paper SEDs costs businesses
between $15 and $75 or more apiece. With 500,000 paper SEDs being
filed every month (and processed by the U.S. Census Bureau), that
adds up to a lot of money that could be reallocated towards revitalizing
for electronic filing are compelling. The new system a combination
of AESDirect and AES -- saves companies time and money. It
reduces the paperwork burden on the trade community. It eliminates
duplicate reporting of data to multiple agencies.
makes it easy to satisfy U.S. Government reporting requirements,"
said Alan W. Black, of FedEx.
It helps government,
too. Agencies dont have to process all that paper and they
get better quality exporting data because the system does up front
editing if it detects errors or inconsistencies.
How It Works
provides pre-departure and post departure filing of the SED information.
To participate in AESDirect, exporters register on-line;
receive an E-mail providing a username and password to permit logging
onto the tutorial and certification quiz; take the tutorial and
quiz; pass the quiz and receive an E-mail notification that the
account is setup for operation. And all this can be accomplished
in one short business day.
Once they are
registered, filers logon, create a shipment using the self-contained
instructions; submit the shipment to AESDirect. The system
edits the form and returns the message to the filer. The filer can
then submit it to the AES, and get a confirmation.
provides for both interactive and batch filing. Vendors are certifying
software to provide for batch submission.
Companies Are On Board?
133 companies registered for AESDirect, " said Dorothy
Lee Brown, a liaison at the Census Bureau for the program. Thirty-seven
of these are transmitting accounting for 1,380 SEDs. Forty-three
of the companies are participants in an older system, the Automated
Export Reporting Program (AERP). As of December 31 the AERP will
cease to exist leaving the AES as the only electronic system for
reporting export data, Brown said.
program operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Census Bureau
offers a 12-hour help desk, 7am - 7pm EST.
For more information,
log onto AESDirect ,
call 800-549-0595 or contact the Automated Export System Branch,
Foreign Trade Division, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233.
to the 21st Century