This article provides information on the Automated Export System (AES).
Last Published: 5/22/2017

eCommerce Transactions Through the Automated Export System (AES)

Federal law requires every exporter to use the Automated Export System (AES) to  report shipments when:
  • a product (or group of products classified under the same Schedule B number) is valued at USD 2,500 or more
  • or any shipment that requires an export license.
  • You can ask your shipping company for assistance (for a nominal fee,  the shipper will complete the AES for you).
  • For information on AES filing requirements and instructions (including short videos), visit the U.S. Census Foreign Trade Division website (, or contact the U.S. Commercial Service.

This is the easiest option for the buyer—the package arrives and the buyer doesn’t need to do anything other than open it. To the seller, however, assumes a fair amount of risk--
  • estimate what the tariffs and taxes will be when the order arrives and charge the customer the appropriate amount.
  • If you calculate incorrectly, you might undercharge the customer and lose money (or lower  your margin) on the transaction, or you might overcharge the client and risk losing  business.

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