Automated Export System Frequently Asked Questions
What filing options are available to me for filing Electronic Export Information?
Option 1 provides for the filing of Electronic Export Information, pre-departure. The AES electronic filing options include Option 2, which requires full pre-departure transmission and is the basic way or reporting export shipments in AES. Option 4 was implemented in March 1999 and is available to approved exporters only. It allows the approved exporter to send a shipment without pre-departure notification to AES. Full post-departure information must be reported within ten working days from the date of exportation.
How much will AES cost me for the hardware, software and transmissions?
The cost will vary depending on the size and business needs of your organization. There are several options available to you, including cost free filing over the Internet using AESDirect or other relatively inexpensive filing options using the Internet. As an AES participant, you may develop your own software from the specifications we provide. You may contract with a vendor that has developed and tested software with AES. You may file using a Value Added Network (VAN) electronic mailbox or using the facilities of a service center, port authority or a freight forwarder acting as your agent. The cost will be proportionate to the sophistication of the system you choose.
How can I find a software vendor that has successfully tested their software with AES?
While we do not endorse one vendor over another, we do make available a list of software vendors and service providers that have completed or are in the process of developing software for AES. That listing is available by a link to Census from this site.
I want to develop AES software in-house. What data formats are acceptable to AES and how can I find the technical specifications?
AES accepts data programmed using the Customs Proprietary Record Formats or ANSI X.12 formats. The specifications for each of these formats is provided on the AESTIR (Automated Export System Trade Interface Requirements) page.
I don't always know all the information required to file a complete Electronic Export Information prior to departure. Does AES allow for this business reality?
Yes, AES allows you to report estimated information and then update that estimated data with the accurate information once it is known.
I have heard that AES requires a DUNS number. What do I do if I don't have one?
AES requires an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and allows the reporting of the Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number as one of several ways to identify a party in an export transaction. "DUNS" is a registered trademark of The Dun and Bradstreet Corporation. There is no charge to obtain a unique nine-digit D & B DUNS number for your company. You may contact them directly online at the Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. website or call 1-800-333-0505 for more information if you wish to register with them, but AES does not require it.
Is the Schedule B export commodity classification system being eliminated?
No, both Schedule B and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers are acceptable for reporting export shipments in AES. Please note that there are a few exceptions when the reporting of HTS numbers as export classifications are not allowed. These exceptions are presented in the front of the HTS as well as in the AESTIR "Appendix V HTS Numbers that Cannot be Reported in AES". Schedule B numbers cannot be reported in lieu of the import HTS number when reporting import shipments.
If I have questions, either technical or subject matter related, is there a contact person or help desk to assist me?
Yes, once you have informed us of your intention to participate in AES, you will be assigned a CBP Client Representative and a Census Client Representative to help you get established in AES. In addition, there is a toll-free AES Hotline at 1-800-549-0595 to take your questions.
E-mail comments to askAES@census.gov