The Census Bureau is accepting comments through Jan. 7 on information collections associated with the Automated Export System.

The information collected via AES conveys what is being exported (description and commodity classification number), how much is exported (quantity, shipping weight, and value), how it is exported (mode of transport, exporting carrier, and whether containerized), from where (state of origin and port of export), to where (port of unloading and country of ultimate destination), and when exported (date of exportation). The identification of the U.S. principal party in interest shows who is exporting goods, and the USPPI and/or the forwarding or other agent information provides a contact for verification of the information. Census states that there are currently 287,314 filers who submit 17,315,950 shipments annually through AES.

Information collected from AES is used to calculate trade statistics, enforce U.S. export laws and regulations, plan and examine export promotion programs and agricultural development and assistance programs, prepare for and assist in trade negotiations, develop the export price index, measure the volume and effect of air or vessel shipments and the need for additional or new types of facilities, and administer the negotiation of reciprocal arrangements for transportation facilities between the U.S. and other countries.

Since 2016 a number of enhancements have been made to AES, including adding the original internal transaction number as an optional data element, adding the ultimate consignee type data field, adding export control classification numbers, increasing edits and validations between license codes and ECCNs, renaming Swaziland to Eswatini, and removing BIS license codes C32, C49, C55, and C56. In addition, Census has revised the Foreign Trade Regulations to clarify split shipment requirements and the collection of Kimberley Process Certificates for rough diamonds and reflect the implementation of the International Trade Data System. However, Census states that these revisions should not affect the average three-minute response time for completion of the AES record.

Similarly, Census does not expect a forthcoming proposed rule clarifying the responsibilities of parties participating in routed and standard export transactions to have an impact on the reporting burden of the export trade community.

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