Total Connection Blog

What is An AES Filing?


In time past, the primary export system was paper-based. This made for an expensive, stressful, and especially error-prone system. As a result, AES filing was introduced as a way to transform how exportation processes are realized. The Automated Export System is a combined enterprise by different United States Federal bodies, created to address a significant issue with export processes; security.

Today, all exports from the U.S is done with utmost consideration on AES filing. Thus, all exporters shipping out merchandise valued at over $2,500 must use this electronic system. Other conditions necessitate an AES filing, which will be discussed in this article.

What is AES Filing?

The Automated Export System is a joint venture run by the U.S Census Bureau to acquire relevant information on exports from the United States. Other dominant commercial and state bodies involved in this electronic system include Customs and Border Protection, Bureau of Industry and Security, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, and the export trade community.

AES filing solves the issue of export security by collecting different export data and statistics to guarantee conformity with export regulations, identifying export trends and economic indicators, and calculating the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Customs Declaration Form lies on Parcel with Customs declaration form CN22 on a blue velvet background. Close-up.

How AES Works

The entire export process begins when an individual decides to ship goods out of the country. Depending on the export volume and experience of the exporter, they can either make all shipping arrangements or enlist the services of an accredited agent. Part of the shipping arrangement involves assigning a Schedule B number – a 10-digit international export code necessary for exporting out of the US.

Another crucial process of exportation is Electronic Export Information. The EEI represents an electronic declaration of merchandise that specifies all information about the exported goods. EEI works with the Schedule B number and must be filed when the merchandise classified under the Schedule B number is over $2,500.

Through the EEI filing, exporters or accredited agents can transmit the electronic declaration of merchandise to the AES. Another inherent information held by the AES includes Government agency requirements and laws on exports. With this, the system can validate the good’s EEI and either produce a confirmation or error message.

If the validation is successful, the logistics service will receive the cargo, generate a booking receipt and transmit a departure message after the vessel has departed. Usually, the shipping line transmits the export manifest through the Automated Export System within ten working days after departure. On the other hand, an unsuccessful validation or error message requires the exporter to make adequate corrections to the good’s information (EEI) and transmit them back to the AES.

When Is AES Filing Needed?

Exporting goods from the United States to a foreign country requires an AES filing as long as the merchandise is valued at over $2,500 by the Schedule B number. However, other instances necessitate AES filing.

Firstly, a key consideration is the origin of the commodity. This checks if the merchandise is either foreign or domestic. For instance, an exporter seeking to ship two items under the same Schedule B number with both items valued at $1,500 each will need to file through AEW if both items are either domestic or foreign. However, if one is foreign and the other domestic, the items are treated individually, and with each item valued at less than $2,500, an AES filing is not required.

Some export transactions involving plants and animals require an export license issued by an appropriate licensing agency – in this case, any U.S Commerce or State Department. These departments painstakingly review all the processes and facts associated with this transaction. Hence, an AES filing is required for such export transactions, regardless of the good’s value, origin, or destination.

In 2020, modifications to export regulations by the Bureau of Industry and Security mandated an AES filing for exports appearing on the Commerce Control List and with China, Russia, or Venezuela as its intended destination. Self-propelled vehicles and rough diamonds must also be filled through AES regardless of the destination or value.

There are stringent penalties for exporters that fill erroneous EEI or fail to file through AES. Defaulters could pay a fine of up to $10,000 for each breach. The U.S Department of Commerce, through the Office of Export Enforcement and the U.S Customs and Border Protection, are responsible for identifying defaulters and implementing these rules and penalties.

perspective view of containers at containers yard with forklift and truck

How To File with AES

A critical aspect of AES filing is the ACE portal. This free website was designed to link CBP, trade partners, and other associated government agencies. With the ACE portal, companies can file EEI, Importer Security Informations, Import Truck Manifests, and Protests. Companies can access the ACE portal through the CBP website and provide all essential shipping information on a dedicated AESDirect page.

Aside from the CBP website, the AESDirect page can also be accessed through Total Connections, where businesses can fill in their relevant export information. Once on the AESDirect page, here are the steps to filling with AES.

  • Create or log in to your ACE exporter account or the ACE secure data portal.
  • Click on the “Accounts” tab at the top of the AESDirect page.
  • Next to the “View” tab from the drop-down, select the “Exporter” option.
  • Click on the “Submit AESDirect Filings” option.
  • This page comprises Shipment, Parties, Commodities, and Transportation sections, and all relevant information about each section must be accurately provided.
  • Click on “Submit Filing” only when you’re sure you have supplied the correct information.
  • AESDirect provides a message that notifies you of either a successful validation or errors. For successful validation, businesses are offered an Internal Transaction Number (ITN); otherwise, they must correct all errors.

Benefits Of AES Filing

The maritime industry covers a wide range of professionals, from exporters to logistics service providers, port workers, freight forwarders, and NVOCCs, to mention a few. Regardless of which facet you identify with, Automated Export Systems offer various benefits to the entire industry.

Guaranteeing Compliance

AES’s automated nature ensures it’s much easier to fill in export information. It also instantaneously checks a company’s information for errors, enforcing compliance with relevant export laws and requirements. Businesses can get their ITN number immediately and know when a mistake has been made in the filing process.

Cost Effectivity

Earlier methods of filing export information were pretty costly and inefficient. Some of the costs were incurred from edits and handling expenses. Additionally, there were always occurrences of duplicate records. However, with the automated nature of AES filing, most of these issues have been effectively addressed.

The switch from paper-based to computers has created a platform to conveniently and efficiently store larger volumes of information. With all processes automated, instances of repeatedly inputting numerous documents for one transaction have been eliminated, and as such, significant savings are realized.


AES filing has proven to be highly efficient in different export processes. Firstly, AES is a combined venture that involves various commercial and state bodies, including the BIS and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. This makes EEI processing and validation quicker and more accurate. This electronic system is also in line with other foreign bodies making it easier to operate in different countries.

Let Total Connection Help You File Your AES Entries?

Total Connection is a logistics provider that offers top-quality customs compliance solutions, including AES filing services. We also include the AESDirect page ideally to ensure a seamless filing process. We guarantee 24/7 responsiveness and top-quality service to make shipping easier.

Engage Total Connection today for all customs compliance shipping solutions by filling up the quote form below.


FMC LIC: 026203NF | MC: 280101

11 Main Street
Holmdel, NJ 07733 USA
+1 732-817-0401

Urgent Quote Form

Fill out the below form and we
will get back to you in a few minutes.