Trade Term: SCAC & IATA

By: Kenny Mayo

The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) code are used to identify the carrier that transports the goods out of the United States. Before selecting a carrier code it is important to be aware of which company is actually moving the goods out of the country. This is important to note because the carrier that transports the goods to the port of export may not be the same as the carrier that transports the goods out of the country.

What is the difference between the SCAC IATASCAC and IATA?

The SCAC is the carrier identification for vessel, rail, and truck shipments. These codes are issued and maintained by the National Motor Freight Association (NMFTA). In contrast, the IATA is responsible for issuing carrier identification codes for air shipments.

Why is the carrier code important?

It is essential that you accurately report the SCAC or IATA code so that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) knows exactly which carrier is transporting the goods out of the country and has the opportunity to inspect the goods prior to export. Failure to provide accurate information can lead to shipment delays and penalties up to $10,000 per violation. As part of our continuous efforts to help you maintain compliance, however, the Census Bureau has created edits in AESDirect and AESPcLink which require the appropriate type of carrier code to be selected for each mode of transportation.

Is this required for all shipments?

No. The carrier identification is not required for the following modes of transportation: mail, passenger hand carried, and fixed transport (pipeline).

For more information about SCACs, please use the following link:

For more information about IATA codes, please use the following link:

Posted in Trade Terms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 FTD Customer Service Survey

By: Vecoya Greene

It’s that time again! Time for you to tell us how to improve our customer service. The 2014 Foreign Trade Division Customer Service Survey is now available and we would like you to participate.

If you used the Automated Export System (AES) and it’s associated services in the past two years, your feedback helps us better assist you.customer satisfaction

This year’s survey is a little different. It’s all about your opinions and finding new innovative ways to improve our services. For example, if you have utilized our shipment manager, watched a webinar or browsed our website, this is your chance to share that experience with us!

Come one, come all, you’re invited to participate in this survey.

Remember, your feedback will inspire action! The last day to complete the survey is September 19, 2014, so don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

July 2014, Trade Deficit Decreases

By: Carlann Unger

Balance of Payments Basis

The trade deficit in goods and services continued to decrease for the third month, dropping $0.3 billion to $40.5 billion. A slightly larger increase in exports of $1.8 billion (to $198.0 billion) than imports of $1.6 billion (to $238.6 billion) drove the July decrease. July exports of goods, at $138.6 billion, were the highest on record.

Goods on a Census Basis

July exports of goods increased to $137.6 billion. Exports of Automotive Vehicles, Parts, and Engines drove the increase with gains of $1.7 billion, followed by Industrial Supplies and Materials with gains of $1.3 billion. July imports of goods increased to $196.8 billion. The main drivers for this increase were Automotive Vehicles, Parts, and Engines with gains of $1.4 billion and Other Goods with gains of $0.5 billion. July imports of Foods, Feeds, and Beverages also had a record month with total imports of $10.9 billion.

July Automotive Vehicles, Parts, and Engines increased to record levels for both exports and imports. In July, this category made up 11% of all U.S. goods exported, with Passenger Cars making up 40% of the exports in this category. July imports of Automotive Vehicles, Parts, and Engines made up 15% of all goods imported, with Passenger Cars making up 45% of the imports in this category. Take a look at our Graph of the Month to see how the values of exports and imports of Automotive Vehicles, Parts, and Engines have changed since 2008.

Posted in Foreign Trade Data | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Watch our Free Webinar: Utilizing the Features in the AES



On August 26, we held our 6th and FINAL webinar in The Basics of Export Compliance Summer Webinar Series, titled “Utilizing the Features in the AES”.

An expert from the Automated Export System Branch (AESB) presented on the following items:

For more information on this webinar or to view our previous recordings, visit our Basics of Export Compliance webpage.

This was our FINAL webinar for the Basics of Export Compliance summer series. We know it’s sad but we promise more to come. In the mean time, check out our Outreach page for archived webinars as well as upcoming training opportunities.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is the most common Compliance Alert that affects your AES compliance rate?

By: Eric Gauthier

As a filer to the Automa480734119ted Export System (AES), it is important to review the information in your monthly AES Compliance Report that is emailed to the account administrator. Filers need to make sure that the company is maintaining a compliance rate as close to 100% as possible. So, what situations generate compliance alerts that go against a filer’s rate?

The most common compliance alert that filers receive is “Response Code 700 – Shipment Reported Late; Predeparture”. The alert is generated when a filer reports their shipment to the AES and receives an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) after the reported departure date. If you discover that your company has not filed a shipment, also referred to as Electronic Export Information (EEI), you are required to file it as soon as the discovery is made and you will receive a compliance alert.

Another common situation that generates this alert is when an incorrect date (or commonly an incorrect year) is entered for the departure date. We usually see an increase in compliance alerts at the beginning of a new year due to filers entering the previous year on the departure date. Make sure to be mindful of this common mistake at the beginning of each year.

If you are a postdeparture (Option 4) approved exporter or an authorized agent filing on behalf of an approved exporter, you may also receive the compliance alert “Response Code 701 – Shipment Reported Late; Postdeparture”. It is generated when a filer reports their shipment to the AES and receives an ITN after the allowable time frame for postdeparture shipments (currently 10 days but will be reduced to 5 days beginning October 2, 2014 per the recent update to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) and FTR Letter No. 8).

Other information on AES compliance alerts can be found in the blog titled “Understanding Your Compliance Report – Part 2”. Please ensure that your company’s shipments are filed in compliance with the FTR so that your compliance rating is not adversely affected.

For more information about these compliance alerts and other response messages, please review Appendix A of the AES Trade Interface Requirements or contact the AES Branch at the Foreign Trade Division Call Center at 1-800-549-0595, Option 1.

Posted in Export Filing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy 100th Anniversary Panama Canal!

By: Anna Owens

Hi Trade Community! Let me introduce myself… My name is Anna Owens, the latest addition to the Foreign Trade Division’s Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch. Our team focuses on reaching out to you, the trade community. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I am excited to get to know you.

Today is such an important day for me and other Panamanians as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal is not only a vital part of the global trade community but also my second home. I hope you take a small break today and enjoy our new infographic about Panama.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Watch our FREE Webinar on Sanctions and Embargoes

6-26-2014 2-17-15 PM

On August 5, we held our 5th webinar in The Basics of Export Compliance Summer Webinar Series, titled “Sanctions and Embargoes: What it means to you?

An expert from the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) presented on the following items:

  • What is the Office of Foreign Asset Control?
  • Case studies
  • OFAC licensing
  • Enforcement of sanctions, rules and regulations
  • Best practices for compliance

For more information on this webinar or view our previous recordings, visit our Basic of Export Compliance webpage.

Don’t miss our last webinar in the summer series on August 26th @ 2pm EST. We plan to focus on utilizing features in the Automated Export System. Be sure to access our training page 15 minutes prior to join us.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

June 2014, Second Month in a Row Trade Deficit Decreases

By: Henock Kebede

The trade deficit in goods and services decreased for the second month in a row as it went down $3.1 billion to $41.5 billion. The decrease was driven by an increase of exports and a decrease of imports of $0.3 billion (to $195.9 billion) and $2.9 billion (to $237.4 billion), respectively. One of the main drivers for the increase in exports is the record high exports of Total Services, driven by record exports in Other Business Services and Travel (for all purposes). Exports of both Automotive ($13.7 billion) and Consumer Goods ($17.2 billion) increased to record levels, while their imports decreased by $1.3 billion for Consumer Goods and by $1.1 billion for Automotive.

Did you know that the U.S. usually has a trade surplus in Civilian Aircraft, Engines, and Parts? Yes, products in this end-use category make up 11% of the exports in “Capital Goods” and typically, exports are about twice the size of imports. This year so far, the top five countries for U.S. exports in this category are China ($4.9B), United Kingdom ($3.5B), France ($3.4B), Canada ($2.7B) and Germany ($2.7B). Check out the “Graph of the Month” page for a visual representation of export and import trends for Civilian Aircraft, Engines, and Parts.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Choosing the Ultimate Consignee Type

By: Heather Hrytsyshyn

You probably know that identifying the ultimate consignee in the Automated Export System (AES) is mandatory. However, did you realize that you need to select an ultimate consignee type? There are four types: direct consumer, government entity, reseller and other/unknown.

Let’s dive into the details of each type: woman questioning

  1. Direct Consumer is a non-government institution, enterprise, or company that will consume or use the exported good as a consumable, for its own internal processes, as an input to the production of another good or as machinery or equipment that is part of a manufacturing process or a provision of services and will not resell or distribute the good.
  2. Government Entity is a government-owned or government-controlled agency, institution, enterprise, or company.
  3. Reseller is a non-government reseller, retailer, wholesaler, distributor, distribution center or trading company.
  4. Other/Unknown is an entity that is not a Direct Consumer, Government Entity or Reseller, as defined above, or whose ultimate consignee type is not known at the time of export.

Helpful tips to consider:

  • If the form of the good (commodity) exported is changed or consumed by the ultimate consignee, the type would be direct consumer.
  • If you chose other/unknown and later determine the ultimate consignee type changed, you may update the type in the AES.

So which type do you choose?

Identifying the proper ultimate consignee is pretty simple. Just remember to focus on the primary business function of the ultimate consignee. If more than one type applies, choose the type that applies most often. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: If you export printers to a company in Scotland and they use the printers in their office, what ultimate consignee type do you choose?

Drum roll please… Direct Consumer.

The Reason: The ultimate consignee is using the printer for its own consumption.

Example 2: If you export paintings to an art distributor in France, what ultimate consignee type do you choose?

Drum roll please…Reseller

The Reason: The ultimate consignee is a distributor.

For more information on ultimate consignee type, refer to Section 30.6(a)(28) in the Foreign Trade Regulations. If you still have questions, contact the Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch at 1-800-549-0595, Option #3.

woman questioning


Posted in Foreign Trade Regulations | Tagged , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Watch our FREE Webinar: International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

summerwebinarseries2014On July 22, we held our 4th webinar in The Basics of Export Compliance Summer Webinar Series, which focused on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and how to be compliant when exporting military items. If you missed it, you can still benefit from our new information packed webinar. Click here to watch the recording for free!

Experts from the Department of State presented on the following items:

  • US Munitions List (USML) items
  • Application Process for obtaining an ITAR controlled item license
  • Updates on the Export Control Reform
  • Filing ITAR controlled items in the Automated Export System (AES)

Don’t forget to Mark your calendar for August 5th @ 2pm EST. We will have the experts from the Office of Foreign Asset Control discussing sanctions and embargoes on foreign countries.

Go to our Basic of Export Compliance webpage for more information on this webinar and view our previous recordings.

Posted in Webinars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment