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What’s This I Hear About the AESTIR?

Wed Jan 22 2014
Sean Kline
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If you’ve heard about a thing called the AESTIR (ey-steer), but don’t know exactly what it is, then this is the blog for you. The Automated Export System Trade Interface Requirements (AESTIR) defines the data requirements that are reported to the Automated Export System (AES). It’s a valuable resource for anyone and a must read if you’re developing your own software for AES filing. The AESTIR is divided into 4 parts:

  • Part I contains general information needed to understand how and why the AES was developed; it also explains who can participate in AES.
  • Part II describes the different formats accepted for commodity and vessel transportation data.
  • Part III contains 23 appendices which assist the user in programming, testing, reporting, and understanding the export requirements.
  • Part IV contains instructions on what to do if the AES is down.

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For the sake of brevity,  allow me to highlight some of the most helpful appendices found in Part III:

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  • Appendices A & B –Filing Response Messages: An extensive list of all possible error response codes, their severity, an explanation of why an error occurred, and how to resolve it.
  • Appendix C – ISO Country Codes: A list of all two-character country codes as issued by the International Standards Organization (ISO). You can find ISO codes on our website.
  • Appendix E – Commodity Filing Export Information Codes: An Export Information Code (EIC) is a mandatory field that indicates the type or condition of the shipped item(s).  Examples include “IW” for shipments to international waters, “CH” or “CI” for shipments donated for charity, and “FS” or “FI” for foreign military sales.
  • Appendix F – License and License Exemption Type Codes: The License Code/License Exemption Code indicates the type of export license, export permit, license exemption, license exception or other export authorization. Examples include “C33” for No License Required (NLR), S05 for a DSP-5 license, and “T11” for an Office of Foreign Assets Control general export license.
  • Appendix K – Unit of Measure Codes: This provides the abbreviations for different units of measure such as “BBL” for Barrels and the always perplexing “NO” for Number (not to be confused with “X” which denotes that no unit of measure is required).
  • Appendix S – AES Acronyms and Definitions: This contains Table A, which lists AES Acronyms and Table B, which lists AES Definitions.

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If any of this information sounds useful to you,  go to the CBP website at  for the complete AESTIR.

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