Happy Birthday Global Reach!

By: Rosanna Torres

Five years ago, a small team at the Birthday CakeForeign Trade Division decided it was time to socialize the Census Bureau’s involvement in the trade industry through this blog.  We joined the social media revolution.

Since then, the Division changed names (now known as the International Trade Management Division), people have come and gone, but the blog still lives on thanks to your subscriptions. We are happy to report that more than 200,000 users have benefited in some measure from the information our talented staff provides weekly.  With day one as a baseline, Global Reach has had over half a million page views and the loyalty of over 11K+ subscribers.


To all those who benefit or contribute to use this training tool, congratulations.  We’re looking forward to another great year ahead!

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Determining Value & License Value

By: Daniel Cariello

Are you in the business of exporting licensed shipments? It sure can be tricky! If you haven’t heard already, requirements for filing licensed goods in the Automated Export System (AES) recently changed.  In addition to reporting the value, you are required to report license value in the AES.  Let’s take a look at how to determine value and license value to ensure you avoid costly mistakes.

Value vs License Value


Just to remind you, value is a mandatory data element in the AES.  Value = selling price OR cost of goods (if not sold) + inland or domestic freight, insurance, and other charges to the U.S. seaport, airport, or land border port of export.

License Value

License value, or Licensable Value in the AES, is a conditional data element. This means if your shipment requires an export license, you must report the value designated on the export license that corresponds to the commodity being exported.

The example below includes a shipment requiring an export license.  Notice that the value is slightly higher than the licensable value. This is due to the inclusion of domestic freight and insurance costs, which is included in value only.

Licence Value 1How does value and licensable value look in the AES?

Licence Value 2

If you have questions regarding value or license value, please contact the Trade Regulations Branch at (800)-549-0595, Option 3 or e-mail ftdregs@census.gov.


Posted in Export Filing, Foreign Trade Regulations | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

November 2014, Trade Deficit Decreased

By: Carlann Unger

The trade deficit in goods and services continued to decrease. In November, the deficit was $39.0 billion, down $3.2 billion from October. The decrease in the deficit reflects a $2.0 billion decrease in exports and a larger $5.2 billion decrease in imports. Exports decreased to $196.4 billion, mainly driven by a $2.3 billion decrease in capital goods. Imports decreased to $235.4 billion, mainly driven by a $4.6 billion decrease in industrial supplies and materials. To view the full release click here.

At $11.4 billion, the November petroleum deficit was the lowest since December 2003. The November imports of petroleum, at $23.1 billion, contributed to the decrease, as they were the lowest since August 2009. In November, both the import average price per barrel of crude oil and quantity of crude oil imports were highlights. The import average price per barrel of crude oil, at $82.95, was the lowest since December 2010. The November quantity of crude oil imports, at 189 million barrels, was the lowest since February 1994. To view more historical data on U.S. Imports of Crude Oil click here.

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Happy New Year!

By: Stephen Jackson

On behalf of the International Trade Management Division (ITMD) and the Economic Indicator Division (EID) of the U.S. Census Bureau, we would like to say Happy New Year!

We hope that you have enjoyed your holiday season, and look forward to working with you in 2015. This past year we had some significant changes to the export process and we are encouraged that many of you found this Blog as an information source to keep updated on the changes. We are continuing to evolve,  and making the necessary changes to improve our Regulations, AESDirect and the critical statistics we provide you.

Let’s take a moment to highlight a few key products to keep in mind throughout 2015.

USA TradeUSATradeOnline – Access current and cumulative U.S. export and import data for over 9,000 export commodities and 17,000 import commodities. USA Trade Online provides trade statistics using the Harmonized System (HS) up to the 10-digit level and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) commodity classification codes up to the 6-digit level.

AESDirect 1AESDirect – This FREE online program allows exporters to file their Electronic Export Information in a timely and efficient manner to the Automated Export System.

Subscribe to Mailing Lists – The ITMD & EID offer multiple subscriptions ranging from Trade Data , AES  Updates and Other Partnership Agency request for broadcasts. These mailing subscriptions provide you with the timeliest information from the Census Bureau, and act as a key means of communication with the Export Community.

We hope that you continue to take advantage of the great resources made available to you from our International Trade Management Division. As a reminder for your Electronic Export Information, please remember to report the Estimated Date of Export in the Automated Export System with the correct year, so after you pop the cork, please report the year 2015.

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It’s so hard to say goodbye…

By: Omari Wooden

After 36 years of civil service at the Joe and BrendaU.S Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Joe Cortez is retiring at the end of the year. Joe worked on three decennial censuses but for the last 12 years, he worked in the Foreign Trade Division (FTD)/International Trade Management Division (ITMD). Joe is currently the International Trade Ombudsman and previously the Chief for the Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch.

Joe worked tirelessly with the trade community to ensure that their concerns were addressed. In addition, he trained exporters and forwarders on complying with export regulations and resolving AES concerns. This training was maximized by Joe’s bilingual efforts with the Hispanic community assisting exporters all across the nation. He accomplished this while working with export enforcement agencies to develop export regulations that facilitated trade while ensuring that our nation’s security concerns are met. Joe also assisted the trade to resolve penalty and export enforcement issues regarding the Foreign Trade Regulations.

In addition, after 41 years of service, Brenda Jeffries is retiring. For the last 19 years, Brenda worked in the FTD/ITMD in the Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch. She played a critical role in laying the foundation in the early years of the AES compliance seminars. Over the years, Brenda has provided exceptional customer service to the trade community through emails, phone calls, data requests and voluntary self-disclosures.

With a combined 77 years of civil service, Joe and Brenda have been invaluable to the efforts of the Census Bureau. It has been a wonderful pleasure working with them over the years. We wish both of them the best on their new endeavors.

If you require assistance with any of the tasks that Joe worked on, you may contact Omari Wooden at omari.s.wooden@census.gov until the Trade Ombudsman position is filled. If you require regulatory assistance, you may contact the Trade Regulations Branch on 800-549-0595 Option #3.

Congratulations Joe! Congratulations Brenda! Have a wonderful retirement!

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NEW: The Manufacturing and International Trade Report

By: Rebecca DeNale

On December 18, 2014, the U.S. Census cargo shipBureau released the 2012 Manufacturing and International Trade Report (MITR) . This new annual report contains manufacturing data on the value of product shipments. The data are published on a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) basis from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series. The MITR also includes official U.S. export and import merchandise trade statistics.

car plantThe MITR will, for the first time, provide a comprehensive comparison between detailed manufacturing product class data and associated import and export data.

In August 2015, the Census Bureau plans to release the 2013 MITR. The report will present manufacturing product data from the 2013 Annual Survey of Manufactures and 2012 Economic Census Summary Series, with new and revised official U.S. export and import merchandise trade statistics.

For information on manufacturing data, contact: 1-800-201-4647, Option 1 www.census.gov/manufacturing

For information on international trade data, contact: 1-800-549-0595, Option 4 www.census.gov/trade

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I do not own a company. How can I register for AESDirect?

By: Eric Gauthier

The holidays are fast approaching and you are trying to send one of those new electronic devices to a relative out of the United States. You go to your post office and they tell you that since the value of your gift is over $2,500 per classification code, you need to report this export shipment through AESDirect. However, when you go to the AESDirect  website, you see that the registration form talks about companies and Filer IDs. You start to wonder if you need to complete this since the website seems to be mostly designed for companies.

Please note that the filing requirement for export shipments valued over $2,500 per Schedule B applies to both companies and individuals. You are required to comply with this regulation whether you frequently have export transactions or this is an “once-in-a-lifetime” situation.

What do you need to be able to register and create an account? AESDirect registrants should be physically located in the United States. If you are not, you will need to contact a U.S. based  agent or freight forwarder to submit your Electronic Export Information (EEI).

Now, as an individual, how do you complete the requested information?

Eric Post for Sign up1


  1. Under the Company Information section, please enter your name under the Company Name field. For the Filer ID Number, please provide an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you do not have an EIN, you can request one online from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the “Apply for an Employer ID Number” link. If you are not sure what options to select when requesting an EIN, our Regulations staff has prepared a presentation that you can use as a guide. Please note that it is prohibited to use a Social Security Number for an AESDirect registration or filing.
  2. The Account Administrator is the main contact point for the account, which should be you. Please enter your name and contact information under this section. Under the Administrator Address, please enter your personal address. It should be your U.S. physical address and not a P.O. Box number.
  3. Under the Corporate Office and Corporate Contacts section, select the checkboxes to confirm that the address and contact are the same as previously reported. You would need to determine if you are a United States Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) or forwarding agent. If you are filing directly for the export you are sending, please select USPPI. If you are filing on behalf of someone else, please select Freight Forwarder. After this, you should be able to complete the remaining fields and certification statements.

Once you complete and successfully submit the form, you will receive an email to set up your username and password and continue with the registration process. Then you will have full access to the AESDirect application and be able to complete the required EEI with the resources we have available on the website.

This information should help you  when trying to register for AESDirect and have you on your way to file an export for the first time! If you require additional assistance, you can reach our Data Collection Branch at 1-800-549-0595 Option 1 or leave us a comment at the bottom.

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October 2014, Trade Deficit Decrease

By: Jason Jindrich

The October trade deficit in goods and services decreased by $0.2 billion from September, to $43.4 billion. The decrease in the deficit reflects a $2.3 billion increase in exports to $197.5 billion. This increase in exports was greater than the $2.1 billion increase in imports to $241.0 billion. Both exports and imports of capital goods reached a new record this month, with exports at $47.7 billion, and imports at $51.0 billion. Similarly, October marked records in both exports ($22.3 billion) and imports ($27.4 billion) with Mexico.

October was also a record month for imports from China. This leads to our Graph of the Month, featuring imports of cellphones. Imports of cellphones into the United States have trended upward since 1997, with China an important source.

October 2014 Trade Graph

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Turkey Time!

By: Stephen Jackson

Turkeys are closer than you think!

TurkeyThe tradition of Thanksgiving dates back to the early 1600’s and is most notably remembered for 1621 when early Plymouth Colony settlers hosted a three-day feast. On Oct. 3rd 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving, later clarified by President Franklin Roosevelt to be the fourth Thursday of the month. Today we still celebrate Thanksgiving as a time with family and friends, giving thanks for all that we have. This celebration is typically done sitting around a table with that perfectly roasted, deep fried or however-you-make-it turkey.

One of the most iconic symbols of Thanksgiving is the turkey, and it got me thinking about our trade data. What does it show about these symbols of Thanksgiving? Much to my surprise, for the last several years we have only imported turkeys from one place – Canada. It all makes sense when you think about it, turkeys can typically only fly about 100 yards at a time so they can’t come from too far away! That was supposed to be funny.

Let’s take a look at turkey imports as classified in Schedule B 020724 and 020725; Turkeys, Not Cut in Pieces, Fresh or Chilled and Turkeys, Not Cut in Pieces, Frozen. We will look at 2009-2013 and 2014 thru September Import data showing the world value and the total value from Canada. If you are familiar with our USATrade Online Data, you should recognize the format below! If not, feel free to jump on USA Trade Online, where first time users get 1 week free, and start exploring your interest in trade data!

Turkey Data

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Reporting Gold Dore in the Automated Export System (AES)

By: Byron Raney

All that glitters is not necessarily 100% pure gold.  Gold dore is a semi-pure alloy, which is a mixture of different kinds of metals.  How you report gold dore in the Automated Export System (AES) depends on the purity of gold.

Classifying Gold Dore

Using our Schedule B Search Engine, the chart below shows Schedule B number 7108.12.1020 as the classification for gold dore.  In the Description column, you will see Dore (gold content).  In the Unit of Quantity column you will notice Au g.  Au is the symbol for gold.  This means that filers should only report the amount of gold grams (Au g) exported.

Gold Dore Blog Graph 1

Reporting Gold Dore in the AES

How would you report gold dore in the AES based on the breakdown of metals on the commercial invoice below?  Based on the information provided, report the gold content quantity (1,230,000 Au g) and total value of the shipment ($52 million).  To figure out the unit price of the gold, you divide the value by the quantity of the gold.  In this case, the unit price is $42 per Au g.

Gold Dore blog Graph 2

However, if you had reported the gold content as all of the metal quantities combined (1,500,000 grams), the unit price would appear to be about $35 per Au g, much less than the actual price of the gold per gram.  As you can see, a small filing error can make a big difference and impact the data that we publish.

Interested in exploring imports and exports of gold dore? Check out our trade data portal, USA Trade Online. First time users get free access for one week! For Schedule B classification, check out our easy to use search engine: https://uscensus.prod.3ceonline.com/. If you have additional classification questions, call 1(800) 549-0595, option #2.

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