Go Beyond the Refactored AESDirect to Discover a New Way to Work & Boost EEI Filing Speed
AESDirect is moving from U.S. Census management to the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Secure Data Portal, more simply known as the ACE Portal.
The transition is rapid and many long-standing export-related procedures are changing. Many export filers who chose to use the ACE Portal will need to enter each Electronic Export Information (EEI) one at a time in a new interface. Given the tight deadlines and rapid workflow of export departments, manual entry in a web-based platform is not always practical with the exception of very low frequency exports or one-off scenarios. Compliance professionals know that when a new regulation arises or interface changes occur, the disruption creates an opportunity to improve processes.
Many export filers are looking for alternatives to AESDirect in the ACE Portal and are actively seeking solutions that can increase productivity, improve customer service and provide a potential competitive advantage. Export operators who file EEI in the ACE Portal may face a steep learning curve and workflow interference. Also, since many business process a large volume of export-related shipments, a single entry methodology is not feasible. This is especially the case for Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) or exporters involved in e-Commerce. Data entry into the ACE Portal may be redundant since nearly all brokers, forwarders and exporters already have existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Global Trade Management (GTM) or other logistics technology solutions in place.
AESDirect Alternatives – Key Considerations
Given the challenges of interfacing with AESDirect in the ACE Portal, there is a clear industry case for another viable option. Since many capabilities were not available in the legacy U.S. Census AESDirect.gov system, nor offered in the Refactored AESDirect, alternatives are needed to provide:
- AESDirect EDI connectivity & validation: In order to ensure a higher level of productivity, EEI Filing Options with accurate and reliable data flow are vital.
- Comprehensive Denied Party Screening (DPS): With large fines for transacting business with denied or restricted parties, a pre-filing sanctions review is necessary to help mitigate risk.
- Export-related recordkeeping requirements: While data entered in the Refactored AESDirect is digital, all parties are still required to maintain supporting export documentation. Recordkeeping is mandated for many exports but is of particular importance for higher scrutiny goods that fall under U.S. Department of State (DoS) International Traffic of Arms Regulations (ITAR) jurisdiction.
- Expert technical support: If a business requires help with the AES Direct switch, needs urgent technical support, or if the Refactored AESDirect is down, responsive and expert assistance can help reduce potential supply chain delays.
- Comprehensive reporting and analysis: While the ACE Portal provides some built-in reporting, users must often export reports and manually adjust the data for further analysis.
- Tight systems integration: Since many forwarders’ shipments are often held until an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) is received, powerful systems connectivity is important to speed the export supply chain.
- Accuracy: Checks and balances prior to submitting an EEI can help add to data validity and reduce the potential of fines or delays.
- Best Practices - AES compliance best practices incorporated into a centralized, web-based application can help all users benefit.
AESDirect, EEI Filing Options & Help with the AES Switch - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is AESDirect moving from U.S. Census to CBP management?
From a global perspective, trade requirements are moving toward a single window to government model. In the U.S., it became inefficient for two agencies to maintain and update separate applications in parallel. Engineers in the U.S. Census AESDirect - True Innovation in Export Automation program were required to make corrections and adjustments as were programmers in CBP. Also, with the ACE program well underway, a regulatory precedent was established that ACE is the single system of record for cross-border transactions. This means that CBP will serve as the central agency that transmits and receives data to and from other agencies, known as Partner Government Agencies (PGAs).
Are there other ways to file an EEI besides AESDirect?
Yes. There are methods to enable a direct submission to AES. These choices include Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) options, implementing an in-house solution, interfacing with a technology provider and other methods. For businesses currently using legacy EDI connections, AESWebLink, AESPClink, new connectivity protocols will need to be secured.
How can Descartes Assist Businesses with the AESDirect Transition?
Descartes USExport Automated Export System™ (Descartes USExport™ AES) is a globally accessible web-based application designed to reduce risk of errors, delays and penalties. With a direct MQ (Message Queue) connection to CBP, our solution includes a full validation engine to help ensure that the data entered is complete and meets the requirements for an AES Filing.
The application connects to Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (Descartes GLN™) to help increase efficiency and productivity through a single point of access. Whether companies transmit data via EDI, or through a proprietary XML message protocol, such as Cargo XML, the information seamlessly populates the web-based interface where manual information can be added or edited as needed. As part of Descartes GLN™, data can then be repurposed electronically for use in ERP systems or for further transmission to other supply chain participants. The application also includes a fully integrated DPS function that can be configured based on customizable risk parameters.
Receipt of an ITN can be provided via the application, email or through other options. Our template-driven framework can generate repeated EEI, store USPPI details, and includes options for a parts number database to prepopulate HTS codes.
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