Tales from the Road

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By: Eric Gauthier

You may have seen blog announcements or AES Broadcast emails promoting AES Compliance Seminars and AESPcLink workshops; but what do these training sessions actually cover? How do they help improve your export compliance?

This past July, I presented at an AES Compliance Seminar and Convert carconducted AESPcLink workshops in Laredo, Texas. This was my third AES Compliance Seminar as a presenter, also having participated in seminars in Miami, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was my first time presenting at a seminar in Laredo, which is always a well attended event. This seminar had 126 attendees, the biggest crowd to which that I have ever presented. Because of the area’s trade-based economy, there were a lot of specific questions concerning day-to-day business needs and participants were very concerned about maintaining export compliance.

What do the attendees at AES Compliance Seminars learn about?

The AES Compliance Seminar starts with a presentation from the Regulations, Outreach, and Education Branch (ROEB). ROEB talks about the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), for example, routed export transactions, filing timeframes, and other regulatory topics. Following the ROEB presentation, a representative from our Commodity Analysis Branch (CAB) instructs attendees on how to classify commodities based on the General Rules of Interpretation. During the afternoon, officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) explain their requirements and how they enforce export compliance at their local port(s) of export. The day ends with a presentation from an Automated Export System Branch (AESB) representative. We provide an overview of AES and the AESDirect system and give helpful information on actions to take before, during, and after filing the Electronic Export Information (EEI).

The next day, consists of two AESPcLink workshop sessions available. The workshop sessions cover everything from registering for an AESDirect account and filing EEI via AESPcLink, to completing the certification quiz. Participants will learn how to create and submit sample shipments to the AES using AESPcLink, how to retrieve shipments to make updates, how to delete shipments and overall manage EEI.

Why should I go?

Aside from receiving export compliance training from the subject matter experts, one of the advantages of attending the seminar is to have a direct contact with Foreign Trade Division staff. Any questions that you may have about the FTR, AESDirect, or any other export compliance matter can be addressed in person. I always mention how exporters and filers that I meet at previous seminars continue to contact me with questions almost two years later, taking advantage of this great opportunity.

Although being in Laredo in the middle of July was definitely an extremely warm experience (and returning to Washington, DC during its worst heat wave in years was as well), it’s always rewarding to see how the seminars help the trade community file their export information correctly to the AES.

For more details about upcoming seminars and trainings, click the “Training and Events” icon to the right of this page.

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