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April 03, 2014 

Census Bureau and U.S. Customs Announce 180 Day "Informed Compliance" Period to Comply with EEI/AES Changes

By Doug Jacobson and Michael Burton, Jacobson Burton PLLC

Today the U.S. Census Bureau issued FTR Letter Number 8 (reprinted below) advising that Census and U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") will implement an 180 day "informed compliance" period to allow U.S. exporters to comply with the changes to the Foreign Trade Regulations ("FTR") that take effect on April 5, 2014. 

As we indicated in our previous post on this subject, the amendments to the FTR will affect all Electronic Export Information (“EEI”) filings made through the Automated Export System (“AES”), whether filed directly by the U.S. exporter or via an agent, such as a freight forwarder. 

While the addition of new data elements will impact all EEI filings some of the changes are particularly important to exporters that ship goods under export licenses issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) or the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”). 

What the "informed compliance" period means is that CBP will not impose monetary penalties on those that fail to comply with the new FTR requirements for the next 180 days. Violations of the new FTR requirements occurring after October 2, 2014 may be subject to monetary penalties.

It is important to note, however, that this policy does not apply to violations of existing requirements. Therefore, CBP will continue to issue penalties for violations of the FTR requirements that were in effect prior to the April 5, 2014 changes. For example, late filings and inaccurate information in the current data elements are still subject to CBP penalties. 



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