Automated Export System (AES) is the principal collection, processing and storage site for all Electronic Export Information (EEI) sent to the US Customs and Border Protection.
Maintained by the US Census Bureau, AESDirect is another way participants can file shipment information. 50% of exports are processed directly through AES and the rest are processed through AESDirect.
The Census Bureau relies primarily on the Automated Export System to gather data on US exports. Subsequently the data becomes part of the Gross Domestic Product information released monthly. Additionally, other federal agencies use the information to identify and stop certain items from being exported by unauthorized parties to unauthorized entities or destinations.
ACE or Automated Commercial Environment is a single window platform where the trade community reports import and export shipments. Mandated by the President’s February 19, 2014 Executive Order to streamline the import and export process, the US Customs and Border Protection and the Census Bureau are moving the AESDirect System into the ACE platform. A re-engineered AES has resided in the ACE platform since April 2014. ACE functionality will continue to evolve in order to automate more processes.
The AESDirect system now referred to as Legacy AESDirect will fully transition into ACE in 2016. The ACE AESDirect application is called Refactored AESDirect. Filers must have an ACE account and transition to Refactored AESDirect by mid-2016 before the Legacy AESDirect goes away.
Originally, AES was set up to streamline and replace paper-based shipment data required by multiple agencies with electronic filing. AES became a national system operational at all ports and for all modes of transportation where data is sent electronically, edited promptly and errors are discovered and corrected upon filing. As a result, there is less redundant reporting to different agencies and better customer service.
When the exporter or his authorized agent arranges booking with a carrier, the exporter sends the commodity information (EEI) using AES. AES then validates the data and returns a confirmation or error message to the filer. Subsequently, those carriers participating in the Vessel Transportation Module transmit the Receipt of Booking notice when they receive the goods and the departure notice when the vessel departs. Within ten days of departure the carrier electronically sends the entire export manifest using AES. After validating the data, AES generates a confirmation or an error message that requires correction and return transmission to AES.
No matter what role you play in the export arena – exporter, carrier, freight forwarder, broker, port official, service center or consolidator, AES contains benefits that increase your efficiency.
The AES editing capability allows you to easily correct errors ensuring your compliance with US export reporting requirements. AES transmits an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) to confirm that you successfully filed export documentation.
AES system users experience significant reduction in paper cost and redundant data entry.
The AES interfaces with the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security and the State Departments Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to electronically validate data on export shipments against approved licenses and sends the transaction to the proper agency.
Since AES is in line with the GATT and NAFTA agreements, AES export certification could start the 60-day period for presentation of duty payment to other NAFTA members making it easier to conduct business in multiple countries.
Users can analyze potential markets to gain competitive advantage in the global trade market using the accurate and timely export statistics that AES system provides.
However, having two agencies maintain two separate applications, ACE and AESDirect, became inefficient over the years. The systems required synchronizing so programmers needed to make identical changes in each system. Managing two different processes for exports became costly for government and industry.
ACE AESDirect allows export filing and processing in one system. Besides encompassing all the features in the current online and offline filing applications, the new system includes several enhancements including an auto-save feature, saving partial shipments, saving complete shipments for later transmission, creating profiles and templates, an optional Spanish language interface and user administration.
Small and medium size companies who export American-made products and services using the ACE platform will experience processing and approval times taking minutes instead of days. In the near future, businesses will employ the ACE system to satisfy their filing requirements with other agencies that now require paper reporting. For record keeping and to ensure compliance, businesses will have authorization to access their data through the ACE single window.