What is the Automated Export System (AES System)?

The Automated Export System, also called the AES system, is maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau (U.S. Census) to collect information on exports from the United States. The data and statistics from the AES System are used to compile U.S. trade volumes and trends, report economic indicators, and calculate Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Other agencies, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), also use the data to ensure compliance with export regulations for national security.

What is an AES Filing?

Automated Export System (AES) AES is the system U.S. exporters use to electronically declare their international exports, known as Electronic Export Information (EEI), to the Census Bureau to help compile U.S. export and trade statistics. It is also used by other government agencies for trade enforcement purposes.

How is Automated Export System (AES) data collected?

AES data is collected through an Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing. An EEI filing is required when the value of the commodity classified under each Schedule B number is greater than $2,500. It is also required if an export license is needed for a shipment. The filing includes information about the sender of the shipment, the receiver of the goods, and the contents of the cargo.

Who should submit an Electronic Export Information filing?

There are three parties that can submit an EEI filing. These three parties include the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI), their authorized agent, or an authorized agent for a Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI). In general, a USPPI is usually the U.S. exporter. A FPPI is frequently overseas purchaser.

Most frequently, a freight forwarder is the authorized agent that can file an EEI through AES on behalf of the exporter. A Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) is used to authorize a forwarder to file EEI. The letter also defines what the expectations are of a freight forwarder.

When should an EEI filing be submitted?

The timing of an EEI filing is based on the mode of transport. There are exceptions to the below timeframes for items on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) or other restricted lists.

Who is responsible for an EEI filing?

Although a designated agent, such as a forwarder, can submit an EEI filing, shippers are ultimately liable for accurate and timely submissions. There are civil and potential criminal penalties for late, missing, or incorrect information. For example, a civil penalty of up to $1,100 for each day late (up to a maximum of $10,000) may be imposed for each violation.

Can EEI filing be performed on CBP’s website?

Although an EEI filing can be submitted via the U.S. Customs online portal, filing into the CBP website requires manual data entry. In addition, export documentation will still need to be independently maintained to comply with recordkeeping requirements. For these reasons, best-in-class companies use advanced solutions that can repurpose existing information to populate EEI filings and validate data before submission.

Leading solutions also have features to ensure that items are properly classified, export licenses are maintained, records are stored and can be produced on-demand, and that feature customizable alerts to focus time on those shipments that require attention.


Descartes USExport™

An Advanced AES Submission Solution for Streamlined Electronic Export Information (EEI) Filings 

Industry White Paper

Forwarders & Digitization 

Read our series on how freight forwarders are succeeding through effective digitization

Success Story

John S. James Co.

Recommended For You

U.S. Section 321 Type 86 Resource Center
Updated Information on Ecommerce-Related Customs Shipments
Customer Success
aircitypost Accelerates Customs Clearance for Ecommerce Shipments

Interested in learning more about Descartes Solutions?