(For all exports)

It is now unavoidably necessary that Electronic Export Infor¬mation (EEI) must be filed with the U.S. Census Bureau through an “Automated Export System” (AES) on their “AESDirect” website when sending anything out of the U.S. (per Schedule B Export Codes) and the shipment is:

1) Valued at more than $2,500.00 or
2) Requires an export license under U.S. law (such as an FWS Import/Export Permit/License).

Once the EEI has been submitted, AES provides an alphanumeric Internal Transaction Number (ITN), which confirms that EEI was successfully filed.

Mailpieces presented to the Postal Service™ must bear a Proof of Filing Citation (PFC), which consists of the letters “AES” followed by the ITN. Each shipment also needs to have a 17-character “Shipment Reference Number” (SRN) generated according to very complex rules and formulas. When filing on-line as a U.S. based exporter shipping through the U.S. Mail, for “Port of Export” just enter: 8000.

If the value is less than $2,500.00 and no license (such as a USFWS Import/Export Permit/License) is required, use either of these two EEL codes when filling out the Shipping Form, the paper postal Customs Form No. 2976-A (line 11, Exemption or Exclusion Legend/EEL), Proof of Filing Citation/PFC), or the PayPal Shipping customs declaration form:

Exemption for Shipments to Canada: NOEEI 30.36
Exemption for Low-Value Shipments: NOEEI 30.37(a)

BUT, to repeat the bad news yet again…aside from being too complicated for small businesses to deal with, import and export paperwork will not receive a PFC unless the submission also includes as part of form’s Block 11 number a unique 3 character Entry Filer Code as assigned by CBP (as mentioned earlier). This number is available only to professional brokers and large volume importers, so individuals and small businesses are forced to pay for brokerage services or to use an ABI vendor service (see preceding section).

It’s tempting for small businesses to just avoid dealing with all the hassle and expense by disregarding the entire system and hoping to escape notice, declaring false export values of under $2,500.00, or by splitting larger orders into multiple small shipments. Ignoring the system and falsifying information are illegal and will get you in deep trouble. It’s not illegal to split a large shipment into smaller lots – just make sure no species-specific permit/license is required (as for wildlife and plant materials) and then be sure to ship them at least 10 days apart and invoice each box separately. Shipments sent too close together and to the same address will probably be noticed and aggregated at the POE into a single “installment” shipment with a combined value requiring formal entry procedures, the same as if intended to be handled that way:

3. Installment Shipments [on p. 37]. Installments of a shipment covered by a single order or contract and shipped from one consignor to one consignee may be included in one invoice if the installments arrive at the port of entry by any means of transportation within a period not to exceed 10 consecutive days.

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