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Easy Steps for AES Participation

AES Application Process

Step 1 - File Letter of Intent
The Letter of Intent (LOI) provides basic company profile information and sets forth a commitment to develop, maintain and adhere to CBP and Census performance requirements and operational standards. The LOI may be submitted online.

Once your LOI is received, a CBP client representative and a Census Bureau client representative will contact you to discuss your implementation method and to assist and support you as an AES participant.

AESDirect users should not file a LOI. The registration process fulfills the requirement to file a LOI. Information on AESDirect, the Census Bureau's free Internet application and its enhancements, is available at AESDirect. Online training is available to help you get started at AESDirect Online Training.

Step 2 - Choose Interface Method
The following implementation methods are available for interfacing with AES:

  1. Create your own AES program.
  2. Purchase AES-certified software from a vendor.
  3. Use a paid AES service center.
  4. Use AESDirect or any of its enhancements free of charge

For self-programmer, CBP Proprietary or ANSI X.12 formats are available on the Technical Documents page under AESTIR. A list of vendors with AES-certified software available and of service centers that support AES filing, can be found on the vendors web page.

Step 3 - Certification
There is an initial two-part communication test to ascertain whether your system is capable of both transmitting data to and receiving data from AES. You must demonstrate specific system application capabilities successfully as a prerequisite to certification for AES. The CBP and Census client representatives provide support during testing and make the determination to whether or not you qualify for certification.

For AESDirect user, the certification testing is part of the registration process.

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