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What is the timeline for the Final Rule eliminating the collection of the Social Security Number (SSN)?
The Federal Register states that the effective date is March 24, 2010. However,the provision in the final rule eliminating the SSN was implemented on December 3, 2009 and is fully enforceable as of that date. The SSN cannot be used to register for the AES or AESDirect or used for identification purposes when reporting the USPPI or Freight Forwarder in AES or AESDirect.

Why was the Social Security Number (SSN) eliminated?
The Office of Management and Budget has mandated the Census Bureau to eliminate the collection of the SSN for the Automated Export System purposes. This rule is being implemented to ensure that a U. S. Principal Party in Interest’s or U.S.authorized agent’s SSN is protected in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a. The Census Bureau had to comply with this federal law by eliminating the use of the SSN. Information on how to obtain an EIN on-line, by phone, fax or mail can be found at the Internal Revenue Service website (www.irs.gov).

What does the Interim Final Rule mean for the Automated Export System (AES) filers?
As a result of the Interim Final Rule, AES filers will no longer be able to submit a Social Security Number for registering in the AES. In addition, filers will not be allowed to use a Social Security Number in the USPPI or the Freight Forwarder field in AESDirect or PcLink. Filers will have to obtain an Employee Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service, or a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet to use as an identification number.

How do you apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and how long will it take to obtain an EIN?
Applying for an EIN can be done on-line [PDF, 379k], by phone, fax or mail. See the chart below for information on the methods for applying for an EIN.

Process Timeframe
Online http://www.irs.gov, under ‘Online Services’, click on ‘Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online’ Approximately 15
Toll-Free Call (800) 829-4933 Approximately 15
Apply By FAX (859) 669-5760 (Need Form SS-4) 4 business days
Apply By Mail Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
(Need Form SS-4)
4 weeks

Can an individual apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) on behalf of an individual?
A person can serve as a third party designee and apply for an EIN on behalf of an individual. Before applying online, the third party must have a completed and signed Form SS-4. The third party must keep the signed Form SS-4 in the company’s permanent files. (See step-by-step instructions [PDF, 471k].)

What information should be reported in the U. S. Principal Party In Interest (USPPI) Identification field if a Social Security Number cannot be used?
The USPPI shall report its own Employer Identification Number in the USPPI identification field in the Automated Export System. If the foreign entity is the USPPI for filing purposes, it shall report a DUNS number, border crossing number, passport number, or any number assigned by the Customs and Border Protection.

If a customer ships his/her personal items or ships very seldom, does he/she have to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
Regardless of the type of items being shipped or the shipping frequency, any person/entity shipping goods to a foreign country that requires filing Electronic Export Information via the Automated Export System will need to obtain an EIN from Internal Revenue Service. The Social Security Number is no longer acceptable after December 3, 2009.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) site states that an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is for use in connection with business activity only. It further states, do not use your EIN in place of a Social Security Number. The information provided by the Census Bureau and the IRS is conflicting.

The IRS publication titled “Understanding Your EIN” which is located on their webpage (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1635.pdf [external link]) states that "...Employer Identification Number (EIN) is for use in connection with business activity only, do not use your EIN in place of a Social Security Number" The IRS's intention of this statement is to ensure that individuals do not use their EIN in lieu of their SSN. For example, they do no want an individual who is filing their Federal income tax to use their EIN in place of the SSN. The two numbers are not interchangeable. However, for the purposes of registering or filing in the AES you can and should use your EIN. While it is not specifically stated, an EIN can be obtained for government reporting purposes when a person does not own a business. (See step-by-step instructions [PDF, 379k].)


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FTD Web News

What is required for me to ship charity goods to Haiti?
From GLOBAL REACH: "In order to facilitate the movements of these goods, we offer the following guidance that applies to any goods not requiring a license, such as food, clothing, and medicines." (January 22, 2010)

Foreign Trade has GLOBAL REACH
Foreign Trade has just created and published its official blog, "Global Reach." Visit it to discuss the Foreign Trade Regulations, Export Filing (AES), Trade Data, and other trade related topics. Posts are current and relevant to you as the filer, exporter, data user, or curious blog reader. (January 5, 2010)

FTZ: Guidelines for Submtting Statistical Data (PDF) (1.8 MB)
Guidelines and best practices for fulfilling FTZ's statistical reporting requirements are now available.

- Training videos on topics such as the Foreign Trade Regulations, AESDirect, NAFTA, Taxes/Tariffs, Commodities, etc. now available!

2009 Constant Dollar Data
- The Census Bureau identified a processing error that caused incorrect deflators to be applied to the revised data for 2009. The data have been corrected.

- U.S. Census Bureau will modify the structure of several data products to accommodate changing technology and user demand.

- The export environment has dramatically changed. Come and understand what it takes to remain compliant, aware and out of trouble.

2003 AES Option 4 Moratorium
Option 4 Filing Review Process Suspended

AES Compliance Best Practices:
Best Practices for maintaining AES Compliance are now available.

Related Party Database Application:
Time series RELATED PARTY data for specific commodities and countries.

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Source: FTDWebMaster, Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, D.C. 20233
Created: 17 February 2009
Last modified: 24 October 2019 at 02:08:24 PM