Shipping Goods from a Foreign Trade Zone to Puerto Rico

By: Katrina R. King

Cars and car parts, pharmaceuticals, electronics, machine parts, clothing articles, wine and spirits are all examples of goods that are withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) and shipped to various places including Puerto Rico on a regular basis.  If you are moving goods from a FTZ to Puerto Rico, you need to be knowledgeable of a few things.

According to section 30.2 of the Foreign Trade Regulations, Electronic Export Information (EEI) is required for goods shipped from a FTZ to Puerto Rico.  So, if you are shipping goods from a FTZ to Puerto Rico, you must file the EEI in the Automated Export System (AES) or AESDirect, just as you would for goods shipped between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and goods shipped from FTZs to foreign countries.

Remember 4-16-2014 11-39-55 AM

When reporting the EEI in the AES, you are responsible for submitting complete and accurate information known at the time of export.  The U.S. Census Bureau uses the EEI for statistical purposes, which contribute to the publication of FTZ export statistics. Just remember, an EEI is required if goods are withdrawn from a FTZ and destined to Puerto Rico.

If you have questions about FTZs, you can contact the Data Collection Coordination Branch at 301-763-2259.  For more information, you can visit the following websites:

For questions related to the regulation referenced above, you can contact the Regulations Outreach and Education Branch at 1-800-549-0595, option 3.


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Commodity Spotlight: Painting Exports

By: Heather Hrytsyshyn

Recently, there has been a lot of attention on paintings fetching extremely high prices at auctions. Some of these paintings are exported once the sale is complete. In fact, the United States has exported an impressive $48.2 billion* in paintings over the last decade (2003-2013). Take a look at the graph below to see the trend:

2-26-2014 graph - paintings

Domestic versus Foreign Paintings – Move Over Picasso!

As you can see, the collection of export statistics for paintings is separated by whether they were produced domestically or in a foreign country.

  • Total Exports of Domestic Paintings (2003-2013)= $24.9 Billion**
  • Total Exports of Foreign Paintings (2003-2013)= $23.3 Billion**

While the difference seems relatively small, exports of domestic paintings exceeded exports of foreign paintings by $1.5 billion* over the last ten years.

Reminder when Reporting Painting Exports in the AES:

  1. Classification: For exports of paintings (both domestic and foreign), choose Schedule B Code 9701.10.0000.
  2. Domestic/ Foreign Indicator: When you are filing electronic export information in the AES for paintings, make sure that you have the correct foreign or domestic indicator selected under Origin of Goods. See image from AESDirect below:

d&f indicatorFor domestic and foreign export data, please refer to “Merchandise Data” on the Census Bureau’s webpage Foreign Trade Data Products. For general information on how to obtain international trade data from USA Trade Online, contact the Data Dissemination Branch at 1-800-549-0595, option 4.

*Export data from USA Trade Online
**Domestic an foreign export data from Merchandise Data

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A Sigh of Relief…180 Day Grace Period for the Revisions to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR)

By: Daniel Cariello

The new export reporting requirements have captured the attention of both experienced and non-experienced exporters. Between new exemptions, deleted exemptions, new definitions, modified language… it can all seem a bit daunting at first.

October 2 photoTo help you out, the Census Bureau and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have issued FTR Letter # 8 that addresses concerns for complying with the Final Rule effective April 5, 2014. The new FTR Letter #8, implements a 180 day informed compliance period, which means that between April 5, 2014 through October 2, 2014, no penalties will be issued to filers who fail to comply with the new revisions to the FTR.

So what does this mean for exporters?

Penalties can still be issued for violations related to the FTR published June 2, 2008. Additionally, the Census Bureau and CBP will continue their outreach efforts to educate the trade community on the new requirements of the Final Rule.

What is changing in the FTR?

Changes to the FTR were summarized in our previous blog post “The New Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) Export Requirements.” If you want to read the new export regulations in their entirety, check out our easy to read interactive FTR.

For questions related to changes in the FTR, please call 1-800-549-0595, option 3. For technical questions related to filing in the Automated Export System, choose option 1.

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Trade Deficit Increases in February

By: Joseph DeCampo and Shannon O’Brien

In February, the Nation’s international trade deficit in goods and service increased to $42.3 billion as exports decreased and imports increased. Imports of services increased $0.8 billion from January to February. The increase was mainly accounted for by an increase in royalties and license fees ($0.8 billion), which included payments for the rights to broadcast the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

On the eve of February 6, Sochi, Russia hosted the opening ceremony that continued the legacy for 2,873 participating athletics and those watching from around the world.  During the month of February, 88 nations participated in the multi-sport competitions. To find more details about the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and meet the new Olympic medalists visit

A Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies, 2011-2012

This month also marks the release of the 2011-2012 Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Profile is our annual release that combines FTD’s trade data with company information from the Census Business Register to provide company statistics on exporters and importers. With the information from the Business Register, we are able to break down exports or imports by the size or industry of the companies doing the exporting or importing. Using this company information along with what we gather in our trade data, we are able to provide data users with information such as how much value was exported to China by small (less than 100 employees) manufacturing companies. This is just one example of the many things you can find in the Profile.  Check it out!

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Why Tap into International Markets?

By: Omari Wooden

Why tap into international markets? Bottom line: exporting increases your sales and competitiveness. In 2013, American exports rose to $2.3 trillion. Don’t miss out!trade

If you’re not sure where to start, the best bet is to look directly at the data. We can help. Every month, the U.S. Census Bureau releases detailed information on over 9,000 export commodities and 18,000 import commodities. This information can help you track the global marketplace for your product, identify possible opportunities to expand your business and make informed decisions.

Another option is for U.S. businesses to attend international trade shows. Why?

  1. That’s Where the Money Is – Shows Are located in High-Growth Markets That Attract Buyers With Money to Spend
  2. Surrounded by Experts – Help Is Available Before, During and After the Show
  3. Government Help – U.S. and State governments can help you get the most out of International Trade Shows.

View this video for highlights on different opportunities you can find at International Trade Shows, such as the Arab Health Trade Show in Dubai.

For more information on attending international trade shows, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service at 1-800-USA-TRADE (872-8723).

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DON’T File on a Hunch!

By: Nidaal Jubran and Clara E. Santiago-Bello

When filing in AESDirect, you may be tempted to only fill out required data fields (marked in red) and ignore the conditional data fields (marked in blue). You may be surprised to know that it’s very uncommon for an AES record to contain only the data fields marked in RED. However, in most cases, at least one conditional field is required.cartoon guy at crossroads

Most of the conditional fields are located in the Shipment Information and Add Commodity Line sections in AESDirect and AESPcLink. Let’s define the most common conditional fields in these sections and find out when they are required.

Shipment Information

  • Transportation Reference Number: This is required for vessel shipments . This is the booking number provided by the carrier.
  • Port of Unlading: This is required for vessel shipments and all shipments between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This is the first port where the vessel is offloaded from the exporting carrier.
  • Carrier SCAC/IATA: This is a 2, 3, or 4-digit character code that identifies the carrier. This is required for Vessel, Rail, Barge, Truck and Air shipments.
  • Conveyance Name: This is the name of the carrier company or vessel name for ocean shipments. It is required if the Carrier SCAC/IATA code is reported.

Commodity Line

  • Schedule B or HTS Number: This is a 10-digit code that classifies the merchandise you are shipping internationally. Most shipments require this information. The only situation when it’s not required is if you are exporting household effects or tools of the trade. An example might be if you are physically moving to another country, and you are exporting all of your personal effects.
  • 1st Quantity: This is required for most Schedule B or HTS Numbers. However, in some cases the 1st Quantity may not be required. Please take a look at the ‘Units for 1st Quantity’ data field after you have entered your Schedule B or HTS number. This will tell you if the 1st Quantity is required. If the Units for 1st Quantity shows ‘X-NO UNITS REQUIRED’, then you do not need to report the 1st Quantity.
  • Origin of Goods: This is required if a Schedule B or HTS Number is provided. This is not required for shipments of household effects or tools of the trade. If required, you must determine whether your goods were manufactured, assembled, or grown in the United States or abroad.

For additional information on conditional data elements, review Section 30.6 of the Foreign Trade Regulations.

If you need clarification on reporting conditional data elements to the AES, contact the AES Branch at 800-549-0595, option 1.

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Time for Report Cards! – Your AES Compliance Report

By: Stephen Jackson

First things first—if you file electronic export information (EEI) to the Automated Export System (AES) but have no clue about this “AES Compliance Report” that we’re talking about – CALL US NOW! (Okay, maybe read the blog first, then call, but you get the point –it is important!)

What is an AES Compliance Report?

An AES Compliance Report gives you a snapshot of how your company performed in complying with the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) over the previous three months.

What does it look like?

Compliance Sample Image

Notice at the top of the AES Compliance Report the date that the report covers. In this example, the report shows a company’s mock information sent in March 2014. We also provide the Compliance Rates and Total Shipments for the last three months of reporting at the top half.

On the second part of the page, we identify the total number of unresolved fatal errors that your company incurred through the date the report was sent and the total number of compliance alerts for the reporting period. The number of fatal errors is a running total and is cumulative through the date the report was sent, whereas compliance alerts are based on the reporting period.

Can my rate change from month to month?

Have you ever received your AES Compliance Report and noticed that a previous month’s percentage has changed? Why is that? As mentioned earlier, AES Compliance Reports give you a snapshot of your company’s compliance for the current month. We say a “snapshot” because compliance is an ongoing effort by your company. If AES data has changed for a shipment you reported last month, you must go in and make that change to your AES record (FTR 30.9). If this change causes other AES errors, your AES compliance rate may be affected negatively. On the other hand, correcting a fatal error will increase your AES compliance rate.

If you are not receiving your AES Compliance Reports or simply have questions about your report, please give us a call at 800-549-0595 option 1. We would love to work with you on improving your export compliance!

For more information, please follow this link: Compliance Reports.

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January 2014 Data Release Includes Lots of Changes

By: Fay Johnson

March 7, 2014

The trade deficit in goods and services increased $0.1 billion to $39.1 billion in January.  This reflects an increase in exports of $0.6 billion to $192.5 billion, and an increase in imports of $0.6 billion to $230.3 billion.  These relatively small month-to-month changes, did not create many highlights this month. However, we have been working hard to provide you, the data user, with better service.  In particular, there are three things that have changed this month in hopes of achieving this:

  1. Seasonal Adjustments by Geography – This month’s release has a new exhibit (19) which has seasonally adjusted data by selected countries and area data.   If you are excited about this as we are, you will want to know more information.
  2. Economic Indicator API – The economic indicator time series data sets are now available through the Census API.
  3. HS-NAICS Concordance We implemented revisions to the Harmonized System (HS) – North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) concordance. These revisions are the result a thorough review done to better align these two classification systems.
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Coming to an Area Near You! AES Compliance Seminars

Audience Listening To Presentation At Conference 2-27-2014







How well do you know the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) and the Automated Export System (AES)? The AES Compliance Seminars provide you with in-depth training to help you understand the regulations and utilize the AES.

On the first day, subject matter experts present on topics such as how to maintain compliance with the FTR, classify your products and file in the AES. On the second day, AESPcLink workshops provide attendees a hands-on training to file export information. They are offered in both English and Spanish.

For locations of our upcoming seminars, go to the registration page.

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How Do I Report a Foreign Trade Zone with Upcoming Regulatory Changes?

By: Michael Simmons

Did you know in addition to Foreign Trade Zones having a general purpose zone and a sub zone, that some zones also have a site location?  Previously only importers were required to report the site identification number as part of the FTZ identifier.  Effective April 5, 2014, exporters will now also be required to report site locations using the full seven digit reporting format in the Automated Export System.

When exporters report in-bond code 67 (withdrawn for immediate export), or in-bond code 68 (withdrawn for transportation & exportation), you are required to provide a FTZ identifier.  Failure to report will generate a fatal error response message.  The new FTZ identifier format is shown below.

FTZ number imageWhen exporting merchandise from a FTZ, use the following examples below to ensure accurate reporting:

  • If FTZ 128 does not have a subzone or site location, the correct format would be 1280000.
  • If FTZ 128 does not have a subzone but a site location of 02, the correct format would be 1280002.
  • If FTZ 128 has a subzone of D but does not have a site location, the correct format would be 1280D00.
  • If FTZ 128 has a subzone D and a site of 02, the correct format would be 1280D02. AESDirect will be updated to comply with the new regulations.  If you use another software, make sure the software is updated by April 5, 2014 so that it allows you to report the required seven-digit format.

If you have questions regarding FTZs, contact the Data Collection Coordination Branch at 301-763-2259.  In addition, you can visit the following websites for more information U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board and National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones.


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