The following questions and answers summarize the inquiries that are most often directed to the AES Client Representatives at the Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division. If your question is not answered below, please call 800-549-0595, Menu Option 1, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: For many filers, one option may be to use AESDirect, the free Internet filing alternative available at our website www.aesdirect.gov. At that site, you can also download our AESPcLink software, which is a standalone version of AESDirect. AESPcLink comes in two versions, the Standard Edition for PC-oriented applications, and the Network Edition for LAN-based applications. Other options include purchasing customized software from a certified software vendor, or developing your own in-house software application. Some software applications can be designed to extract data from existing web applications, or to interface with an inventory management system. You may file to the AES from a Value-Added Network (VAN), through a service center, or you may authorize an agent to file on your behalf. The cost of the software and equipment will be proportional to the sophistication of the system you choose.
A: We do not endorse any particular vendor, but we do list all companies that have developed certified AES software on the website at www.aesdirect.gov under “Partner Sites” or the AES homepage at www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aes. The companies listed here have developed software that has been tested by AES Client Representatives to show that the software reported data in the correct format to the AES.
A: The AES accepts data programmed using the Customs Proprietary Record Format or the ANSI X.12 Format. The specifications for each of these formats are provided in the AES Technical Interface Requirements (AESTIR) documentation at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/automated/aes/tech_docs/aestir/june04_intro/.
A: The AES allows you to report estimated data prior to departure and
then to update any or all such information as soon as you confirm the actual
Remember, the FTR requires you to report shipment data prior to exportation, unless the USPPI is approved for postdeparture reporting.
A: In order to complete the EEI, you must report a commodity code for unlicensed cargo valued over $2,500, or for licensed cargo, regardless of value. The AES requires a 10-digit code from the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) or the Schedule B (Export Commodity Classifications). HTS import codes may be used, in most cases, with exceptions noted in the AESTIR, Appendix V—HTS Numbers That Cannot Be Reported in AES”. For classification assistance, please call 800-549-0595, Menu Option 2.
NOTE: Although import codes can be used in the AES, the reverse is not true. Export codes cannot be used in import reporting, except when the 10-digit codes are exactly the same.
Q: Where can I get copies of the Federal Register notices
on AES filing?
A: Please visit the Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division website at www.census.gov/foreign-trade/regulations/fedregnotices/index.html.
A: The CCL is a listing of export commodities that require extra scrutiny
U. S. Department of Commerce. These include items such as precursor chemicals, certain hazardous materials, technical items and products as designated from time to time. The list is maintained by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The BIS is responsible for the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which contain the CCL under Part 774, Supplement No. 1. For an alphabetic index to the CCL, go to www.access.gpo.gov/bis/ear/pdf/indexccl.pdf. For assistance, please call the BIS Help Desk at 202-482-4811.
A: Requirements vary from license to license and to license exceptions. Please see the chart in Appendix F of the AES Technical Interface Requirements (AESTIR) at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/automated/aes/tech_docs/aestir/june04_intro/appendices/.
A: The ECCN is a five-character code in the format of NANNN, where N is a numeric character and A is an alpha character. If the ECCN is not in this format, the AES filer will receive a Fatal Error message. The filer must use a valid ECCN, as determined by the BIS. For assistance, please call the BIS Help Desk at 202-482-4811.
A: The USML is established under the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22CFR Parts 120-130), administered by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), an agency of the U. S. Department of State. This list includes articles, services, and related technical data controlled by the U.S. Department of State. AES filing is required for licensed cargo under DSP-5, DSP-61, DSP-73, DSP-85, and DSP-94, and for certain agreements and license exemptions as defined in the ITAR, regardless of value.
An additional data record is required in the AES for DDTC shipments. This is called the ODT record and must include the following additional data elements:
DDTC Export License Number
DDTC Exemption Number
DDTC Registration Number
DDTC Significant Military Equipment Indicator
DDTC Eligible Party Certification Indicator
DDTC United States Munitions List (USML) Category Code
DDTC Unit of Measure Code
The USML can be found at: http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/offdocs/itar/p121.htm
Q: What do all these special terms
and abbreviations mean?
A: Please see our list of AES Common Terms and Acronyms on our website at