CUSTOMS, CENSUS TO PROMOTE AUTOMATION OF REMAINING PAPER SED FILERS
U.S. Customs and the Census Bureau plan to step up their efforts to eliminate paper filings of shipper’s export declarations through the Automated Export System.
The system was developed several years ago by Customs and the Census Bureau. Customs uses shipper’s export declarations (SEDs) for enforcement purposes, while Census compiles the data for the country’s trade statistics.
“We’re going on a paper attack,” said Peter J. Baish, director of outbound programs at Customs. The agency will provide information to promote AES among the export industry.
Census estimates that it still receives over 400,000 paper SEDs each month at its Jeffersonville, Ind. data center. The agency expected additional volumes of paper SEDs after it shutdown its 30-year-old Automated Export Reporting Program on midnight New Year’s Eve. But most filers had shifted from AERP to AES before the deadline.
There are 453 AES filers transmitting export documents for about 70,000 exporters. Another 364 filers are registered to use Census’ free Internet-based service, AESDirect.
“Now, 250 AERP filers are on AES, and many more first-time filers are signed up,” said Customs Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. “Obviously, the marketing plan we put into place with Census paid off.”
AES use has been growing at a rate of 20 percent each month. The recently enacted 2000 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3194) is expected to increase exporter use of the system. It will require that all goods exported under Commerce or State Department licenses be filed electronically in AES.
“We expect AES to capture about 32 percent of all export trade this year,” Kelly said.
Although automated filings make it easier for Customs to target violations, the agency says it will strike a balance between paper and electronic SED filings in its export enforcement work.
To further increase AES participation, Customs plans to develop special modules within AES to promote use of the system in the non-vessel-operating common carrier and air-freight transport environments, Baish said.