By Peter A. Quinter and Caleb W. Sullivan
The U.S. Census Bureau is reportedly close to issuing a Final Rule which shall require the mandatory filing of export information through the Automated Export System (“AES”) for all shipments where a Shipper’s Export Declaration (“SED”) is presently permitted. The Final Rule will entirely phase out the paper version of the SED (Form 7525-V), substantially increase penalties for untimely or inaccurately filed Electronic Export Information (“EEI”), and specify time frames within which EEI must be transmitted to the exporting carrier depending upon the mode of transportation. It will also provide for regulatory enforcement through three agencies including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Final Rule, through the amendment of many exiting regulations, will have broad ramifications for exporters, freight forwarders, and carriers. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the rule and its impact on the international trade community is absolutely essential.