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DON’T File on a Hunch!

Wed Mar 19 2014
Nidaal Jubran, Clara E. Santiago-Bello
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When filing in AESDirect, you may be tempted to only fill out required data fields (marked in red) and ignore the conditional data fields (marked in blue). You may be surprised to know that it’s very uncommon for an AES record to contain only the data fields marked in RED. However, in most cases, at least one conditional field is required.

Most of the conditional fields are located in the Shipment Information and Add Commodity Line sections in AESDirect and AESPcLink . Let’s define the most common conditional fields in these sections and find out when they are required.

Shipment Information


  • Transportation Reference Number: This is required for vessel shipments . This is the booking number provided by the carrier.
  • Port of Unlading: This is required for vessel shipments and all shipments between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This is the first port where the vessel is offloaded from the exporting carrier.
  • Carrier SCAC/IATA: This is a 2, 3, or 4-digit character code that identifies the carrier. This is required for Vessel, Rail, Barge, Truck and Air shipments.
  • Conveyance Name: This is the name of the carrier company or vessel name for ocean shipments. It is required if the Carrier SCAC/IATA code is reported.


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Commodity Line

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  • Schedule B or HTS Number: This is a 10-digit code that classifies the merchandise you are shipping internationally. Most shipments require this information. The only situation when it’s not required is if you are exporting household effects or tools of the trade. An example might be if you are physically moving to another country, and you are exporting all of your personal effects.
  • 1st Quantity: This is required for most Schedule B or HTS Numbers. However, in some cases the 1st Quantity may not be required. Please take a look at the ‘Units for 1st Quantity’ data field after you have entered your Schedule B or HTS number. This will tell you if the 1st Quantity is required. If the Units for 1st Quantity shows ‘X-NO UNITS REQUIRED’, then you do not need to report the 1st Quantity.
  • Origin of Goods: This is required if a Schedule B or HTS Number is provided. This is not required for shipments of household effects or tools of the trade. If required, you must determine whether your goods were manufactured, assembled, or grown in the United States or abroad.

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For additional information on conditional data elements, review Section 30.6 of the Foreign Trade Regulations.

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If you need clarification on reporting conditional data elements to the AES, contact the AES Branch at 800-549-0595, option 1.

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