By: Terri Long
In life when you travel the world, you need a passport to verify your identity. Your passport provides all of the necessary information that allows you to move from country to country. The same kind of verification is required for export transactions.
An ITN, our May Trade Term of the Month, is essentially the passport for your export shipment.
The ITN (Internal Transaction Number) is the number you receive confirming your Electronic Export Information (EEI) has been accepted in the Automated Export System (AES). AESDirect filers will receive an email with the ITN after acceptance. The ITN begins with an X and consists of the year, month, day of acceptance and a 6-digit random number. For example, an ITN for an accepted filing on January 1, 2012, would look like X20120101999999.
In order to clear Customs at the port of export and send the shipment along its journey, the ITN must appear on the following (where applicable):
- Bill of lading
- Air waybill
- Export shipping instructions
- Other commercial loading documents
Unlike our international travel, there are some exceptions to the ITN requirement, including:
- Export transactions valued at or under $2,500 that don’t require a license or
- Non-licensed export transactions destined to Canada
However, barring those exceptions, a carrier (plane, vessel, train, truck) will not accept your export shipment without its corresponding ITN.
Essentially, without an ITN, in most cases you cannot export your merchandise.
For more information about the ITN, please call 1-800-549-0595, Option #1. You may also find ITN and other trade terms in our Definitions page.