The U.S. Census Bureau has seen an increase in inquiries from foreign governments for copies of the Electronic Export Information (EEI), as well as some requiring the Internal Transaction Number (ITN).

The problem with this is that the information contained in the EEI is confidential, pursuant to U.S. law (13 U.S.C. §301(g)). As stated in Section 30.60(c)(4) of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), you may not provide the EEI to a foreign government for any purpose. Any unauthorized disclosure of confidential EEI is subject to civil penalties.

What Shippers Can Provide

Instead, it is acceptable to provide the ITN because it is not considered a data element as defined in Section 30.6 of the FTR. On the other hand, if your shipment did not require EEI filing—because the shipment was excluded or exempted from filing requirements—then the citation that was used in place of the ITN can be provided (i.e., postdeparture filing citation, AES downtime filing citation, and exemption or exclusion).

Documents that do not have confidentiality restrictions, such as an invoice or commercial loading document, can be provided to the foreign government for the shipment verification to occur.

Shippers can also provide the official response from the Census Bureau on letterhead indicating that EEI cannot be provided to foreign entities or governments under U.S. law.

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