What is the Automated Export System?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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The Automated Export System (AES) is the electronic information system for the US export industry. It provides an easier method of filing important information and documents that an exporter should send to the US Customs. Data such as the ocean manifest and the Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) can be forwarded simultaneously to different government agencies requiring such information. The AES supports all modes of transportation used in exporting and is available nationwide.

Previously, the filing system for exporters required so much paperwork that produced unnecessary expenses, waste of time and labor, and many documenting mistakes. Multiple agencies such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTD), and the Bureau of Census all joined forces to come up with a solution. The result was the development of the Automated Export System. Exporters, port authorities, freight forwarders, and operating carriers teamed up as the Trade Resource Group (TRG) and held regular assemblies to develop the AES.

The Automated Export System can typically process documents in a quicker and more convenient way. Once an exporter has booked a shipment with a carrier, all information regarding his merchandise is submitted through the electronic system. Detection and correction of errors and insufficient data are immediately carried out. After all errors are ironed out, the AES sends a validation to the transportation information and gives an International Transaction Number (ITN) as proof.


Using the Automated Export System can give greater assurance that all activities of exporters and carriers comply with the law. It also typically minimizes financial and non-financial costs, such as correction fees, delays, and misplacement of documents. The Automated Export System also minimizes distribution of multiple document copies, since all agencies involved can access all data in just one system. It also provides the Bureau of Census a larger pool of data for more accurate statistics. Applicants will also benefit from better customer service with swift responses if the documents they have given are sufficient.

An interested party should register for the Automated Export System before acquiring the required hardware and software. Vendors and service providers who sell developed and tested software are in partnership with the AES to make the system more accessible. An AES participant has an added privilege of developing his own software. An Internet-based system is also available for a less expensive filing process.


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