Census Publishes Notice of Changes to the Foreign Trade
Regulations and EEI Reporting Requirements

March 18, 2013

On March 14, 2013, the Bureau of the Census (Census) published its final rule (78 F.R. 16366) for changes to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) to reflect new export reporting requirements

Effective Date:  The new regulatory changes will go into effect January 8, 2014, except for changes to § 30.6(a)(24) and § 30.6(b)(15), which are still subject to OMB review. When OMB approval is received, the Census Bureau will publish notice in the Federal Register [76 Fed. Reg. 4002 (Jan. 21, 2011)].

Background: Census is responsible for collecting, compiling, and publishing export trade statistics for the United States under Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 9, Section 301. The “Automated Export System” or “AES” is an electronic automated reporting system used for the collection of Electronic Export Information (EEI), which is the electronic equivalent of the export data formerly collected on the Shipper’s Export Declaration, reported pursuant to Title 15 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 30, and the Foreign Trade Regulations (“FTR”). The EEI consists of data elements set forth at 15 CFR 30.6 for an export shipment and includes information regarding the name, address and identification number of the exporter as well as detailed information concerning the exported product, including country of ultimate destination and end user, value, and quantity. Other Federal government agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Office of Export Enforcement (OEE), use the EEI for export control purposes to detect and prevent the export of certain items by unauthorized parties or to unauthorized destinations or end users.

Proposed Rule: In January of 2011, Census issued a notice of proposed rule making (the NPRM) to modify several provisions of the FTR regarding EEI reporting requirements, including:

  • Significant modification of the FTR post-departure reporting program;
  • Exports of household goods - proposed that all exports of household goods be reported regardless of value and country of destination (including Canada);
  • Exports of used self-propelled vehicles - proposed that all exports of used self-propelled vehicles must be reported in the AES 72 hours before export, regardless of value or country of destination (including Canada);

In addition, Census proposed several new data elements, including:

  • Address of license applicant if the item exported is subject to a validated export license;
  • Export license value (if relevant);
  • Name and address of end user;
  • Identification of ultimate consignee type (whether the ultimate consignee is a reseller or government entity);
  • Include conditional data elements for the equipment and seal number;
  • And the actual country of origin of the commodity would be required if the article is identified as of foreign origin. 

Discussion of Significant Final Rule Changes: While there are some 20 comments addressed and 138 different changes and corrections to the FTR, the following highlights the significant issues of concern regarding the changes to the FTR:

1. Clarification regarding post-departure filing: See comments 19, 20 and 21. Census and CBP have decided to reduce the time to file the EEI for post-departure shipments from 10 days to five (5) days from the date of export. Section 30.4(c) is amended by modifying the filing time frame for post-departure shipments from ten calendar days to five calendar days from the date of export. Section 30.5 is also amended to modify the existing post-departure filing program; however, the moratorium on accepting new applications will remain in effect pending the development of a new post-departure compliance program. Census may revoke post-departure privileges of an approved USPPI if it exports commodities that must be filed pre-departure. Census has also determined that the proposed commodity based post-departure program is not going to be implemented.

2. The proposed rule to require the exporter to report the end user: See Comment 18. In the original NPRM, Census proposed a new filing requirement that the exporter report the end user information in addition to the ultimate consignee. After review, Census has eliminated this proposed requirement from the Final Rule.

3. The proposed rule to include a mandatory filing requirement for ultimate consignee type: See Comment 14. In the original NPRM, Census proposed a new mandatory filing requirement that the exporter report the ultimate consignee type such as a Reseller, Government Reseller, or Government Consumer. However, because the ultimate consignee type may be unknown at the time of export, Census has modified the requirement to include Other/Unknown as reporting options for the ultimate consignee type. This is a new mandatory filing requirement and has been added as § 30.6(a)(24).

4. Clarifying the filing requirements for used self-propelled vehicles: See Comment 23. In the NPRM, Census proposed the requirement to file EEI for used self-propelled vehicles regardless of value and destination. Census reviewed the comments regarding this requirement and determined that there will be no exemptions to this requirement. Section 30.4(b) is revised to add paragraph (5) to include the filing time frame requirements for used self-propelled vehicles as defined in 19 CFR 192.2 of CBP regulations (72 hours prior to shipment). Section 30.36(b) is amended to add paragraph (7) to include the requirement for reporting all used self-propelled vehicles regardless of value and destination, including Canada.

5. The proposed rule to report household goods regardless of value and destination: See Comment 3. Census determined that the original filing requirements should remain in effect and unchanged. Filing will be required for household goods that are over $2,500 and are destined for countries other than Canada. In addition, Census revised the definition to add clarity to what are “household goods” for EEI filing purposes.

6. The proposed rule to report the country of origin: See Comment 1. Census has determined not to require exporters to provide specific country of origin information on the exported products.

7. The proposed rule to report the equipment number: See Comment 2. Census has determined not to require exporters to provide the equipment number as a conditional data element for the exported products.

8. The proposed rule to report the container seal number: See Comment 6. Census has determined that the reporting of the container seal number will be an “optional” reporting field for the exported products.

9. The proposed rule to report the Transportation Reference Number (TRN) for air shipments: See Comment 7. Census has determined that the reporting of the TRN for air shipments will remain “optional.”

10. Reuse of the Shipment Reference Number (SRN) is prohibited: See Comment 8. Census has determined that the AES system is not configured to allow the reuse of the SRN, and, so, the SRN may not be reused.

11. The proposed rule to report the address of the license applicant: See Comment 9. Census has determined not to require exporters to report the address of the license applicant as a data element when filing EEI.

12. The proposed rule to eliminate the requirement to report the exclusion legend on the bill of lading or other commercial loading documents: See Comment 12. Census and CBP have reviewed this proposal and agree that the requirement to report the exclusion legend on the bill of lading or other commercial loading documents should not be changed; therefore, the existing requirements for reporting the exclusion legend on the bill of lading or other commercial loading documents remains unchanged.

Census also addressed several comments for Carriers, including:

1. Clarification of the Carrier’s responsibility to identify changes in commodity information. Census revised § 30.3(c)(3)(iv) to indicate the carrier is only responsible for providing and notifying the USPPI or Authorized Agent of changes to the transportation data. Interested parties should refer to the notice for a complete description on all final rule changes. See Comment 15.

2. Clarification of amendments to manifest filing Information. Commenters expressed concern that when identifying a portion of the goods covered by a single EEI transaction that has not been exported on the intended conveyance, they could not immediately notify the CBP Director and amend the manifest because the carrier files the manifest four days after the export departure date. Census has reviewed this section and has revised § 30.3(c)(3)(iv) to indicate that manifest amendments must be made in accordance with CBP regulations. See Comment 16.

Interested parties should review the notice for specific information regarding all 138 changes to the Foreign Trade Regulations.

If you have any questions about these or other customs matters, please contact George R. Tuttle, III at george.tuttle.iii@tuttlelaw.com or at (415) 986-8780.

George R. Tuttle, III is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.


The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

Copyright © 2013 by Tuttle Law Offices. 

All rights reserved.  Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable.  However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.


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