U.S. CENSUS BUREAU TO LICENSE SHIPPERÆS EXPORT DECLARATION PROCESS
U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday they intend to require freight brokers and other export agents be licensed in order to electronically submit export declarations through the Automated Export System.
The licensing plan, unveiled during the National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association convention in San Antonio, Texas, is designed to eliminate errors and improve the quality of data submitted by weeding out companies and individuals that don’t know how to use AES, said Jerome Greenwell, chief regulator in Census’ Foreign Trade Division.
Census uses the information it collects to compile statistics on how much trade U.S. companies do and shares the information with the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to help monitor exports of restricted goods.
Currently customs brokers need a license to import goods “and we are raising exports to the level of imports” to get rid of the bad actors “that give your industry a bad name,” Greenwell told the gathering of freight forwarders and brokers.
The new process will help brokers comply with filing rules and help them avoid new penalties for export violations that accompanying mandatory export filing through AES, he said. Penalties for inaccurate data that range from $100 to $1,000 will now start at $1,000 per occurrence and go as high as $10,000, Greenwell said.
Census officials said they plan to formally introduce the licensing program in the Federal Register in April and hope to have it in place by early 2004.
The licensing plan was quickly endorsed by two brokers, one of whom called it a “fantastic” idea.