[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 21 (Friday, January 31, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5330-5332]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01716]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Bureau of the Census

15 CFR Part 30

[Docket Number: 131211999-3999-01]


Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR): Advanced Export Information 
(AEI) Pilot Program

AGENCY: Bureau of the Census, Commerce Department.

ACTION: Solicitation of Pilot Program Participants to Evaluate 
Potential Rulemaking Procedure.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document announces that the Bureau of the Census (U.S. 
Census Bureau), in cooperation with the U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP), is implementing a pilot program to evaluate a new 
filing option in the Automated Export System (AES). Specifically, the 
Advance Export Information (AEI) pilot is a voluntary program in which 
selected exporters agree to submit a limited set of Electronic Export 
Information (EEI) in accordance with existing filing deadlines followed 
by the full set of data elements submitted within five calendar days of 
the date of export. This notice provides a description of the AEI 
pilot, sets forth eligibility requirements for participation. If the 
AEI pilot is successful, we may discontinue the AES Post-Departure 
filing option and offer an AEI filing option.

DATES: Correspondence indicating interest in the AEI pilot will be 
accepted until April 1, 2014. The Census Bureau will notify applicants 
if they are accepted into the pilot. The notification will provide the 
date that the test environment will be available and further 
information about participation in the pilot. Approved pilot 
participants will then have 60 days after notification of acceptance to 
have their systems ready and able to transmit live AEI pilot data to 
the Automated Export System (AES).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nick Orsini, Chief, Foreign Trade 
Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 6K032, Washington, DC 20233-6010, by 
phone (301) 763-6959, by fax (301) 763-8835, or by email 
nick.orsini@census.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Census Bureau is responsible for collecting, compiling, and 
publishing trade statistics for the United States under the provisions 
of Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 9, Section 301. The 
Automated Export System (AES) is the primary instrument used for 
collecting export trade data. Through the AES, the Census Bureau 
collects Electronic Export Information (EEI), the electronic equivalent 
of the export data formerly collected on the Shipper's Export 
Declaration (SED), reported pursuant to Title 15, Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR), Part 30. The EEI consists of data elements as set 
forth in 15 CFR 30.6 for an export shipment, and includes information, 
such as the exporter's identifying information, which includes name, 
address and identification number, and detailed information concerning 
the exported product. Other agencies use the EEI for the purpose of 
enforcing U.S. export laws and regulations.
    Currently there are two AES filing options:

AES Predeparture Filing

    All commodity information is filed electronically prior to 
departure as outlined in 15 CFR 30.4(b).

AES Postdeparture Filing

    Postdeparture filing is available for approved United States 
Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) and provides for the electronic 
filing of the data elements for eligible shipments required by 15 CFR 
30.6 no later than five calendar days from the date of exportation.
    On August 15, 2003, the Census Bureau, in agreement with CBP, 
placed a moratorium on accepting new applications for Postdeparture 
filing due to an anticipated regulation change. The Census Bureau and 
CBP continued the moratorium on accepting new applications for the 
postdeparture program with the publication in the Federal Register of 
the revised regulations of March 14, 2013 (78 FR 16366). Though the 
moratorium continues, the Census Bureau and CBP have worked together to 
develop this pilot program to test the AEI approach, which is intended 
to replace the current postdeparture filing program. All exporters are 
eligible to apply for the AEI pilot program discussed in this notice.
    Advanced export data are required in order for CBP and other 
agencies to

[[Page 5331]]

effectively target suspect export shipments as provided for in the 
Trade Act of 2002. Currently, the AES postdeparture filing program does 
not provide shipment information until after the shipment has left, 
which does not permit adequate screening of export shipments. 
Establishing an AEI program will provide the necessary information to 
permit CBP and other government agencies to conduct export enforcement 
and compliance activities, while permitting U.S. companies to export 
while some shipment details are unknown.

Authority for the program

    5 U.S.C. 301; 13 U.S.C. 301-307; Reorganization Plan 5 of 1990 (3 
CFR 1949-1953 Comp., p.1004); Department of Commerce Organization Order 
(DOO) No. 35-2A, July 22, 1987, as amended; DOO No. 35-2B, December 20, 
1996, as amended; Public Law 107-228, 116 Stat. 1350; and Trade Act of 
2002 (as amended by Public Law 107-295).

Description of the AEI Pilot Program

Submission of AEI Data

    Participants in the AEI pilot will agree to provide a subset of the 
predeparture EEI data elements as defined in 15 CFR 30.6, while 
adhering to the timeframes outlined in 15 CFR 30.4(b). They will then 
submit the full EEI data set within five days of the date of export.
    (a) Mandatory AEI data elements are:
    (1) USPPI and USPPI identification.
    (i) Name of the USPPI.
    (ii) Address of the USPPI.
    (iii) USPPI identification number.
    (iv) Contact information.
    (2) Ultimate consignee.
    (3) Commodity classification number.
    (4) Commodity description.
    (5) Port of export.
    (6) Date of export.
    (7) Carrier identification.
    (8) Conveyance name/carrier name.
    (9) License code/license exemption code.
    (10) Shipment reference number.
    (b) Conditional AEI data elements are:
    (1) Authorized agent's identification number (if an authorized 
agent is used to prepare and file the EEI).
    (2) Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).

    Note:  Not all commodities are eligible for the AEI pilot, see 
the Conditions of Participation section, items J-L, of this notice.

    These data elements were chosen because in meetings with members of 
the export trade community, they indicated that these data elements are 
commonly available prior to export. Additionally, the AEI data will be 
used by CBP to target export shipments, and enhance border security 
while minimizing disruption to U.S. commerce. Currently, the AES 
postdeparture filing program does not provide shipment information 
until after the shipment has left, which could represent a risk to 
national security.
    The collection of the AEI data is subject to the requirements of 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and was approved 
under OMB Control Number 0607-0152. In the AEI pilot, participants 
agree to submit the AEI data directly to the AES.

Eligibility Requirements

    The Census Bureau is seeking participation from a wide variety of 
stakeholders representing various industries who use different methods 
of transportation. Prospective AEI pilot participants will need to 
assess whether they can fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
    1. The participant must be a USPPI as defined in 15 CFR 30.1. 
Authorized agents will not be approved for the AEI pilot.
    2. The participant must have 12 months of export reporting history.
    3. The participant must report a minimum of ten shipments per 
month. However, seasonal exporters will be considered on a case-by-case 
basis.
    4. The participant must show an acceptable level of compliance for 
export reporting for the latest 12-month period.
    5. The participant must be compliant with all other federal 
regulations related to trade import and export transactions.

AEI Pilot Application Process and Acceptance

    All USPPIs interested in participating in the AEI pilot will have 
to apply, including USPPIs currently approved for postdeparture. An 
authorized agent may not apply on behalf of a USPPI; however, 
authorized agents may transmit AEI data, as well as the subsequent 
submission containing the full EEI, on behalf of a USPPI approved for 
AEI filing.
    Interested parties who wish to be considered for participation in 
the AEI pilot should fax a letter on company letterhead to the Foreign 
Trade Division, Census Bureau, at 301-763-8835, stating their interest 
in participating and their qualifications based on the above 
eligibility requirements. The letter should also include a point of 
contact and the Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) of any of their 
establishments that they wish to be included in the pilot. 
Correspondence indicating interest in the AEI pilot will be accepted 
until April 1, 2014.
    The Census Bureau will distribute letters received in response to 
this solicitation to CBP and the other federal government agencies 
participating in the AEI pilot filing review process. USPPIs that meet 
the eligibility requirements will be considered for selection in the 
AEI pilot.
    Pilot participants will receive technical, operational, and policy 
guidance through all stages of pilot participation--from planning to 
implementation--on the necessary steps for the transmission of AEI and 
subsequent submission containing the full set of EEI.
    The number of accepted applicants will depend on technical, fiscal, 
and personnel capacity of the reviewing government agencies. If more 
applications are received than can be supported, the applications will 
be processed in the order in which they are received. The Census Bureau 
will notify applicants if they are accepted into the pilot. The 
notification will provide the date that the test environment will be 
available and further information about participation in the pilot. 
Approved pilot participants will then have 60 days after notification 
of acceptance to have their systems ready and able to transmit live AEI 
pilot data to the AES.

Conditions of Participation

    AEI pilot participants must agree to the following conditions of 
participation.
    Participants must:
    (A) Ensure the filing of the AEI data elements predeparture, 
adhering to the timeframes outlined in 15 CFR 30.4(b), as part of an 
initial data submission;
    (B) Ensure the filing of the subsequent data submission, containing 
the full set of EEI data elements within five days of the date of 
export;
    (C) Respond promptly with complete and accurate information when 
contacted by the Census Bureau, CBP or any other partnering agencies;
    (D) Take part in teleconferences or meetings established by the 
Census Bureau or CBP, when necessary, to ensure any issues or 
challenges regarding the pilot are communicated and addressed;
    (E) Respond to any and all AES response messages as outlined in 15 
CFR 30.9;
    (F) Report a minimum of 10 shipments within the scope of the AEI 
pilot per month. Special provisions may be made for seasonal exporters 
exporting less than 10 shipments per month. Not all shipments reported 
on behalf of a participant for a month must

[[Page 5332]]

be filed using AEI privileges. The remaining shipments may be filed 
using predeparture reporting or current postdeparture reporting (if the 
USPPI is an approved postdeparture filer);
    (G) Promptly report any problems encountered during the duration of 
the pilot to the Census Bureau and/or CBP;
    (H) Participate in the evaluation and debriefing of the pilot; and
    (I) Have their systems ready and able to transmit live AEI pilot 
data to the AES 60 days after notification of acceptance in the pilot 
program.
    Additional Conditions:
    (J) Commodities controlled under Bureau of Industry and Security 
(BIS) Export Control Classification Numbers will not be permitted for 
AEI pilot reporting, with the exception of those specifically permitted 
to be filed postdeparture by the BIS;
    (K) Any commodity under a general or specific license issued by any 
U.S. government agency will not be eligible for AEI pilot reporting; 
and
    (L) All shipments required to be transmitted predeparture, pursuant 
to 15 CFR 30.4(a), will not be eligible for AEI pilot reporting.
    Failure to maintain the conditions of participation outlined in 
this section or the eligibility requirements defined above, or any 
other reason determined by the Census Bureau, may result in removal 
from the AEI pilot program.

Filing Methods

    AEI pilot participants or their authorized agent may submit AEI 
data directly to the AES mainframe. Further technical information 
related to filing AEI data to the AES will be provided to the AEI pilot 
participants following acceptance into the program.

Costs to AEI Pilot Participants

    AEI pilot participants are responsible for all costs incurred as a 
result of their participation in the pilot and such costs will vary, 
depending on their pre-existing infrastructures. Costs may include, but 
are not limited to, programming and staff training. Costs incurred as a 
result of the AEI pilot may not be recouped if a resulting AEI program 
is not implemented, or is modified prior to implementation.

Benefits to AEI Pilot Participants

    While the benefits to AEI pilot participants will vary, there are 
several advantages to participating. The benefits include but are not 
limited to:
     The opportunity to provide input into the Census Bureau's 
and CBP's efforts to establish, test, and refine the AEI program;
     The opportunity for your business model to be considered 
in the development and implementation of the AEI program;
     Facilitation of filing when not all information is known 
prior to export;
     Facilitation of corporate preparedness for future 
implementation of an AEI program and the discontinuation of the current 
postdeparture program; and
     If an AEI program is implemented based on this pilot, the 
participants that are in good standing, as determined by the Census 
Bureau, will not have to reapply for the AEI program.

Regulatory and Statutory Requirements

    Participants in the AEI pilot are subject to the Conditions of 
Participation; however, this does not alter the participant's 
obligations to comply with applicable statutory and regulatory 
requirements, including but not limited to 15 CFR, Parts 30, 700-799; 
19 CFR, Parts 1-199; and 22 CFR, Parts 120-130. Participants remain 
subject to all applicable penalties for non-compliance.

Evaluation of the AEI Pilot

    The results of the AEI pilot will help determine whether the 
advanced export information permits CBP to effectively screen exports 
and will help identify and mitigate risks with the least impact 
practicable on trade operations. Additionally, the pilot will help 
determine whether any other related procedures and policies would be 
needed for any AEI program that may result.
    While the pilot is in progress, the Census Bureau and CBP will 
evaluate the program and make a determination as to whether the pilot 
will be extended. If the pilot is extended, the Census Bureau will 
publish another notice in the Federal Register. When sufficient pilot 
analysis and evaluation has been conducted, the Census Bureau intends 
to begin rulemaking to address the future of postdeparture filing. If 
an AEI program is implemented based on this pilot, the participants 
that are in good standing, as determined by the Census Bureau, will not 
have to reapply for the AEI program.

    Dated: January 22, 2014.
John H. Thompson,
Director, Bureau of the Census.
[FR Doc. 2014-01716 Filed 1-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-07-P