Trade Term: ITN

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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 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.

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One Response to Trade Term: ITN

  1. Philip Fletcher says:

    I am in the process of starting a home based business in export/import as an export management agent. I have registered the business name with my home state (NH). It was suggested that I get the EIN as the next step. Should I follow this with the ITN?
    Recently, I contacted a foreign company as a possible supplier of their products. In the registration process they require the federal tax ID#. Which number should I give,EIN orITN? Is this safe? Incidently, all communication is via e-mail.
    Please advise. Sincerely, Philip Fletcher

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