Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun to operate under “an informed compliance umbrella.” This comes after penalties were being issued for the “transportation data” minor errors in the Automated Export System (AES) filings. There have been discrepancies with filed dates and ports, which CBP would like to see corrected instead of penalized. Their goal is accurate data. A set of guidelines for penalty mitigation for failure to comply with Foreign Trade Regulations was updated in September.

Jim Swanson, director of the Cargo and Security Controls Division, for Cargo and Conveyance Security, CBP Office of Filed Operation, stated that under the approach, “if we find things that are tied to the transportation that have changed and are not documented and not changed in the AES filing,” instead of issuing automated penalties, “we should be working to try and get that data corrected.”

If Goods Are Still in the U.S.

Swanson noted that they will be notifying the parties and if goods are still in the U.S. and problems are discovered prior to export, there will be a hold put on those goods while the data is corrected.

If Goods Are Already Exported

If the shipment was already exported and there was no “egregious violation” in the data, a correction should be made between 10 and 15 days after the CBP has notified the parties.

If Parties Give No Response

 If there is no response to this notification, or if the response is inadequate, CBP will consider going to a “penalty regime.”

CBP is regularly looking for ways to improve the export filing process, including through Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs). A large number of goods go in and out of the U.S. through FTZs. CBP is hoping to identify more efficient ways to handle FTZ processes.

The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee Export Modernization Working Group is working on methods to simplify the process including a white paper that outlines what the new process is for exports, and identifying which trade entity owns the data, which trade entity is responsible for filing the data, which people would have interest in the data, and which federal agencies would have access to the data collected.  

For further questions on the AES filing process and compliance, contact one of our experts.