International Trade University Webinar – FTR 101

Webinar Series Spring 2015

On March 19, we held our 1st webinar in our International Trade University Webinar Series –FTR 101: Introduction to Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), which provided a general overview of the FTR. If you missed it, you can still benefit from our new informative webinar. Click to watch the recording for FREE!

Experts from the Trade Regulations Branch presented on the following items:

  • What is the FTR? Why should I become familiar with it?
  • How is the FTR organized?
  • What are the key sections and how can I utilize the FTR effectively?
  • Where can I find the FTR?

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for April 2nd @ 2pm ET. We will have experts from the Trade Regulations Branch back to discuss Filing Requirements.  Go to our International Trade Outreach, Education and Training webpage for more information on this webinar and view previous recordings.

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International Trade University Webinar Series–Begins March 19

Webinar Series Spring 2015

By: Anna Owens

Our spring semester is about to begin! We will be hosting 10 FREE webinars that will give you targeted training on:

  • Foreign Trade Regulations
  • Automated Export System
  • Guidance on classifying your product
  • Bureau of Industry and Security’s 600 series

All of our instructors are international trade experts who will answer your questions during the courses. Each course begins at 2 pm EST and are scheduled for 1 hour.  Visit our Outreach page for more information on each session or contact the Trade Outreach Branch at or 800-549-0595, option 5.

School is now in session.

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How trade stats can help US businesses expand abroad

By: Dale Kelly

International markets provide an opportunity for U.S. businesses to increase sales and overall competitiveness, but knowing how to get started and learning about foreign markets can be daunting. The U.S. Census Bureau can help.

Although known most widely as the home of the decennial Census of U.S. households, the Census Bureau also is responsible for collecting, compiling, and publishing monthly trade statistics on all goods imported and exported from the United States. Every month, the Census Bureau releases information on the import and export of commodities such as soybeans, corn, rice, chemicals, steel, aircraft, and lumber. Together with the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which collects similar data on services imports and exports, the Census Bureau releases the  “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services” report. This report provides detailed information on import and export of merchandise by commodity and end-use category as well as by the multitude of countries and areas with which the U.S. conducts international trade. All of these reports are available at the Census Bureau’s foreign trade web page.

How can this information help U.S. businesses? The Census Bureau provides detailed information on more than 9,000 export commodities and 18,000 import commodities. Easily accessible online, this information assists U.S. businesses in making informed decision by tracking the global marketplace for their product and identifying possible opportunities to expand to new markets.

In addition to data, the Census Bureau provides resources and tools to help businesses export. The Census Bureau’s International Trade Management Division conducts outreach and training around the country. Training includes webinars, seminars, workshops, and blog posts on using trade data, understanding foreign trade regulations and utilizing the Automated Export System, which allows the electronic filing of export information directly to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These same data are the source of the Census Bureau’s merchandise export and import statistics. The next two-day training on the Automated Export System begins on April 15 in Seattle, Washington.  Trade is a vital part of our economy, and the Census Bureau plays an important role in providing detailed timely information to U.S. businesses to make informed decisions

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January 2015, Trade Deficit Decreased

By: Carlann Unger

The trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $41.8 billion in January, a $3.8 billion decrease from the December deficit of $45.6 billion, revised. The decrease in the deficit reflects a decrease of $5.6 billion in exports and a larger decrease of $9.4 billion in imports. Industrial supplies and materials drove the decreases in both imports and exports. Imports for industrial supplies and materials ($46.8 billion) were the lowest since December 2009 ($46.2 billion), while exports for industrial supplies and materials ($37.5 billion) were the lowest since December 2010 ($36.5 billion). Click here for more January highlights.

The import average price per barrel of crude oil in January, at $58.96, was the lowest since May 2009, when the average price was $51.30. January’s graph of the month tracks the price per barrel of crude oil from January 2010 to January 2015. To view the graph of the month click here. For more data on crude oil, refer to exhibits 17 and 17a of the FT900. Exhibit 17 includes monthly quantities (thousands of barrels), thousands of barrels per day, values, and unit prices of crude oil. Exhibit 17a includes information on imports of crude oil by selected countries.

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Relocating Abroad?

By: Paula Barron

If circumstances like school or work requiremoving abroad you to relocate to a foreign country and you intend to take your household goods, you may be required to file in the Automated Export System (AES).

The Foreign Trade Regulations (Section 30.1(c)) defines household goods as “usual and reasonable kinds and quantities of personal property necessary and appropriate for use by the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) in the USPPI’s dwelling in a foreign country that are shipped under a bill of lading or air waybill and are not intended for sale.” Please note that used self-propelled vehicles like cars, motorcycles, etc. are not considered household goods and have special filing requirements. These special filing requirements can be found here.

If you are moving to Canada or the value of the household goods is less than $2,500, you do not have to file Electronic Export Information (EEI) in AES. Just enjoy your travels and ship your goods to their destination using either the Canadian exemption “NOEEI 30.36” or the low value exemption “NOEEI 30.37(a)” as appropriate.

If you are moving to a country other than Canada, and the value of your household goods is over $2,500, you or your authorized agent must file the EEI in the AES prior to exporting your goods. On the bright side, there is limited reporting associated with the filing of household goods. Note that a Schedule B number and 1st quantity is not required once the household goods export code “HH” is selected. Below is a sample commodity line filed through AESDirect with “HH” selected as the export code along with data in each mandatory field.

AES Example for Paula's blog

For further information, visit the U. S. Census Bureau website, or call the Trade Regulations Branch at

1-800-549-0595, option 3.

Bon Voyage.


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New TradeSource Publication

Trade Source ImageThe world economy has entered a new phase since the ups and downs of the global financial crisis of 2009. The U.S. economy is growing, and so is the world’s. In the not-so-distant past, good times at home often meant that many U.S. businesses would lose interest in the global marketplace. Looking forward, we increasingly see businesses and communities that are committed to maintaining or intensifying their focus on exporting. The global marketplace continues to grow at a higher rate than the U.S. economy. This is not surprising, perhaps, when you consider that in most emerging and developing countries, economic reforms and development and burgeoning middle classes are driving consistent market growth of about 5 percent a year. Growth abroad has translated into high, sustained demand for U.S. goods and services respected for their innovation, quality, and service.

Read the recent release of the TradeSource Publication HERE.

Topics Covered in this publication:

  • Cross-Cutting: Support the Creation of Improved Data Resources
  • Announcing New Enhancements for USA Trade Online
  • NEI/NEXT: Helping More American Companies Reach More Markets
  • Automated Export System Seminar and Workshops
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Fancy a Pint?

By: Stephen Jackson

“He is a wise man who invented beer.” –Plato

Some may have different views on beer, good or bad, it’s a national and international phenomenon. While I do not think many would argue with me about this truth, I want to prove it to you by backing it up with numbers – after all, we are numbers people here! Let me take you through some statistics available here at Census, showing both National Economic Census data available on American Fact Finder and International Trade data available on USA Trade Online.

First, let’s take a look at the Economic Census for 2007 and 2012 to view the growth in establishments making beer.  Under the NAICS code of 312120 – “Breweries” is identified as “industry that comprises establishments primarily engaged in brewing beer, ale, malt liquors and nonalcoholic beer”.  The published number of establishments for 2007 was 398. These 398 establishments reported a total value of sales, shipments, receipts, revenues, or business done as being worth $21.2 billion . Not too bad, huh?! You’re right, that is pretty good for 2007, but in just 5 short years these numbers jumped to show the increased interest in beer. In 2012 the breweries showed total establishments at 869, and annual sales, shipments, receipts, revenues, or business done at $28.3 billion.

Beer Data

Okay, so that is what we are brewing here at home, but what’s going on elsewhere in the world? Let’s look at some international trade data on beer as defined by Harmonized System (HS) code 220300 “beer made from malt” (without additives) spanning 2007-2012. First on the export side of the data, the thirst for our beer grew internationally, raising the value from $251.4 million being exported in 2007, to $448.4 million in 2012. Canada and Mexico were the largest consumers of our beer exports claiming the top spots in all five years. Imports did see an increase over the same period, but not as significant as the export side. In 2007 imports of beer were $3.6 billion (we like to drink more beer than we like to ship out), with this number increasing to $3.7 billion in 2012.

Beer Data 2

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December 2014, Trade Deficit Increased

By: Henock Kebede

The trade deficit in goods and services increased by the highest margin on record ($6.8 billion) to $46.6 billion in December, a 17.1% increase from November ($39.8 billion, revised). The increase in the deficit reflects a decrease of $1.5 billion in exports and an increase of $5.3 billion in imports. Among the drivers for the increase in imports are record highs for non-petroleum imports ($173.2 billion) and imports of services ($41.2 billion). To view the full release, please click here.

In addition to the monthly data, this month’s release features the annual data for 2014.

Our “Annual Trade Highlights” page provides information changes from the previous year on both a percentage and dollar basis, and also indicates the last time a larger change occurred. For example, the percent change in the goods and services balance was the highest since the change from 2010-2011 at 6.0%. 2014 also saw record highs for exports of goods and services ($2.3 trillion), exports of goods ($1.6 trillion) and the lowest quantity of crude oil imports (2.7 billion barrels) since 1993 (2.5 billion barrels).

The U.S. had record trade deficits with China ($342.6 billion) and the European Union ($141.1 billion) in 2014 while having record surpluses with South/Central America ($34.4 billion) and Singapore ($14.1 billion). These are just some of the highlights; you can see the complete list on our “Annual Trade Highlights” page here.

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Hot off the press!!! 2015 Training Schedule

By: Stephen Jackson

The release of our 2015 AES Compliance Seminar and AESPcLink Workshop is here!

What is an AES Compliance Seminar?

The AES Compliance Seminar is an all day program where experts from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) discuss export regulatory topics such as:

  • Mandatory filing requirements
  • How to avoid common penalties and seizure of cargo
  • BIS export control requirements
  • How to classify your product by Schedule B number and Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCN)
  • Best practices for maintaining compliance with export regulations

*The AES Compliance Seminar qualifies for 7 Certified Export Specialist (CES) Credits*

What is the AESPcLink Workshop?

The AESPcLink Workshop is a 3 ½ hour program that provides hands-on experience with the reporting of Electronic Export Information (EEI) through the AESPcLink system. Highlights from the training include:

  • Learn how to use AESPcLink
  • Practice reporting export shipments
  • Create shipment templates
  • Learn how to become AES certified

*The AESPcLink Workshop qualifies for 3.5 Certified Export Specialist (CES) Credits*

The Upcoming 2015 schedule is as follows:

  • Los Angeles, CA                                                Feburary 24 & 25, 2015
  • Long Beach, CA                                                Feburary 26 & 26, 2015
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL                                           March 3 & 4, 2015
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Spanish                        March 5 & 6, 2015 **CANCELLED**
  • Seattle, WA                                                        April 15 & 16, 2015
  • Chicago, IL                                                         May 6 & 7, 2015
  • Boston, MA                                                        May 20 & 21, 2015
  • Savannah, GA                                                    June 3 & 4, 2015
  • Philadelphia, PA                                               June 9 & 10,2015
  • San Francisco, CA                                            August 9 & 11, 2015
  • Laredo, TX – Spanish                                      October 7 & 8, 2015
  • Virginia Beach, VA                                          November 4 & 5, 2015
  • Tampa, FL                                                         December 9 & 10, 2015

For more information on these training opportunities please go to:

Check out our Events Calendar HERE to check the dates on a calendar.

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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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