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December 04, 2007 

Census Bureau Invites Comments Regarding Data Collection through Automated Export System (AES) and Shippers Export Declaration (SED)

The U.S. Census Bureau (“Census”) is now seeking comments regarding the collection of export trade data for statistical purposes, as it continues to implement the Automated Export System (AES), which will require certain additional exporters to file trade export information electronically with Census. Currently, exporters of items on the Commerce Control List and the U.S. Munitions List, as well as exporters of rough diamonds are required to submit trade data electronically to Census relating to the commodity being shipped, its classification, and other pertinent trade data. As a result of result of extended AES deployment, all exporters of goods valued above $2,500 will be required to file export related data electronically through AES. Census is expected to publish a final rulemaking in 2008, to announce this change.

Previously, exporters of goods valued above $2,500 were required to file trade data with Census, but were able to do so manually by filing a Shippers Export Declaration (SED). The new rule will not affect exporters of rough diamonds and exporters of articles on the CCL and Munitions List. As previously mentioned, these exporters are already required to file trade data electronically through AES, regardless of the value of their goods. The intent of the proposed rule mandating electronic filing through AES is to eliminate the manual method for transmitting required trade information (i.e., SED filings). There is no change, therefore, in the scope of persons required to transmit trade data.


The Census Bureau is authorized under law to collect, compile, and publish export trade data, which are used for U.S. statistical purposes. The Census Bureau, a division within the Department of Commerce, is inviting Comments on:

  • whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility;
  • the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information;
  • ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Written comments may be submitted by February 1, 2008 to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at dHynek@doc.gov).


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