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FAQ: Filing an SED/EEI
Disclaimer: The information listed below is for your convenience and not intended to be used as the absolute definition of trade laws or regulations. Learn how the Electronic Export Filer can help you file your SED/EEI.
 About the Electronic Export Filer
What is an SED/EEI, and why must I fill it out?
The SED, Shipper’s Export Declaration/EEI, Electronic Export Information, is a U.S. Commerce Department form that is required by law and regulation to enable the Bureau of Industry and Security (Commerce), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of State, and other U.S. Government agencies to enforce laws related to the export of goods. It is also used by the U.S. Census Bureau to compile official U.S. export statistics.
An SED/EEI must be filed for a shipment when:
  • Commodities from one USPPI to one consignee on a single export carrier, classified under an individual Schedule B/HTS commodity classification code is greater than $2500 or the destination country limit
  • The shipment requires a U.S. Department of State, Department of Commerce, or Department of Defense license
  • The destination country is one for which the Bureau of Export Administration requires notification regardless of shipment value, including Libya, North Korea, Iraq, Serbia, and Montenegro (except Kosovo)
You can file your SED/EEI online. The form and its instructions are available from the U.S. Census Bureau's Web site. In addition, you can file your SED/EEI online through AES Direct.
US Census Bureau
What is changing about the SED/EEI process?
New regulations currently expected for implementation in the fourth quarter of 2005 or in early 2006 will require all filings to be made electronically using AES; paper SEDs will no longer be accepted. Once the SED/EEI filing is approved by the Census Bureau, an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) is returned as proof that the filing has been accepted. You will need to note the ITN on your shipment paperwork.
When will the changes go into effect?
The Foreign Trade Division of the Census Bureau is in the process of closing the final review period for new SED/EEI regulations. Once this review is complete, final rulings will be published with a ninety-day implementation date.
What can I do to be compliant with the new regulations now?
Nothing is currently required on your part at this time; however, ITA encourages customers to become Self Filers with AES. Information about Self Filing can be found at

Self Filing is a free service. In order to be authorized to file shipment information through AESDirect, you or another representative of your company must pass the AESDirect or AESPcLink Certification Quiz. Preparation for the AESDirect Quiz should include taking the AESDirect Tutorial and reviewing the information in the User Guide.
What if I have additional SED/EEI questions?
Additional information can be found at
What options are available for filing an SED/EEI through AES?
There are four software options provided by the Census Bureau to file an SED/EEI through AES. All these are electronic alternatives to filing a paper SED, and can be used by U.S. Principal Parties in Interest (“USPPI”), forwarders, or anyone else responsible for export reporting. All the solutions are offered free of charge.
  • AESDirect
  • AESPCLink
  • AESWebLink
Additional information about any of these solutions can be found at
I have problems when I try to use AESDirect because I don't have an External Transaction Number (XTN). What is an XTN? How do I obtain one?
The External Transaction Number (XTN) is one of the accepted SED/EEI AES exemption formats required on United States (US), Puerto Rico (PR), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) export documents. The XTN consists of the AES filer's IRS identification number plus the filer's shipment reference number (which must be unique for five years.) When filing using AESDirect, enter the XTN based on these two numbers. You will receive an online response from AESDirect verifying your XTN. This is a confirmation that your filing has been received by AESDirect.
What is the difference between the XTN and the Internal Transaction Number (ITN)?
The AES filer creates the XTN while the ITN is a unique number provided by AES. A shipper receives an ITN after AES reviews and approves the SED/EEI. The ITN is generally returned by email directly to the AES filer.
How do I identify my ITN when using AESDirect?
The ITN is returned electronically to the filer, generally by email. You may also log into your AESDirect account, access your records, and then display the ITN.
I know that an SED/EEI is required for shipments to foreign countries. Are they required for any other destinations?
Yes. An SED/EEI is required for shipments between the United States and Puerto Rico as well as from the United States or Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
What about shipments destined to other U.S. possessions?
An SED/EEI is not required for shipments to any U.S. possession other than Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
I am shipping to a member of the U.S. Armed Services. Is an SED/EEI required?
If the item you are shipping is commerce controlled, generally no. Always check with the ITA Customer Relations Center prior to shipping to members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Are shipments of personal and household effects of non-government individuals exempt from SED/EEI requirements?
They are exempt only when not moving as cargo under a bill of lading. Note: An SED/EEI is required when such effects are moving as cargo under a bill of lading, regardless of value; however, it is not necessary to report each item by individual Schedule B number.
Are there specific shipments requiring an AES or AESDirect filing?
Effective October 2003 all items identified on the State Department’s U.S. Munitions List ("USML") and the Commerce Department's Commerce Control List ("CCL") that previously required an SED/EEI must be filed electronically via AES or AESDirect.

USML items are identified by license codes beginning with the letter "S". These codes are:
  • SAG – Agreements
  • SCA – Canadian ITAR Exemption
  • S00 – License Exemption Citation
  • S05 – DSP-5: Permanent export of unclassified articles
  • S73 – DSP-73: Temporary or permanent import of unclassified articles
  • S85 – DSP-85: Temporary or permanent import or export of classified articles
  • S94 – DSP-94: Foreign Military Sales
The reporting of CCL items requires no additional filing requirements. Note:The Export Control Classification Number ("ECCN") must be reported in the correct format for license codes C30, C31m, C35, C36, and C37. The correct format is NANNN where N is numeric and A is alphabetic. In addition, the license number is required for license types C30 and C31.

Any party filing items on USML or CCL on behalf of a USPPI must have a Power of Attorney or written authorization to do so.
What is the port of unlading?
This refers to the port where the export shipment is unloaded. This field is required only for shipments moved by air between the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Is there an official SED/EEI form?
Yes. Information must be reported in a standard format based on standard definitions.
What is the official SED?
Commerce Form 7525-V: The vertically arranged SED is designed to be prepared along with a set of similarly oriented forms such as air waybills and shipper's letter of instruction.
7525-V: Shipper's Export Declaration (SED)
Could I avoid filling out a paper SED?
Yes. The government has implemented AESDirect ( AESDirect is the U.S. Census Bureau's free, Internet-based system for filing an SED, Shipper's Export Declaration/EEI, Electronic Export Information, with AES, the Automated Export System. It is the electronic alternative to filing a paper SED, and can be used by U.S. Principal Parties in Interest (USPPIs), forwarders, or anyone else responsible for export reporting. Electronic filing is available today via AES, and paper is still acceptable; however, once new regulations take effect, paper SED filing will no longer be acceptable.
Why AESDirect?
AESDirect significantly streamlines the export reporting process by reducing the paperwork burden on the trade community, reducing costly document handling and storage, and ensuring that export information is filed in a timely manner.
My entire shipment is valued at US$2,500 or less. Is an SED/EEI required?
No, unless the shipment is traveling under an export license or is destined to Libya, North Korea, Iraq, Serbia, or Montenegro (except Kosovo). An SED/EEI is required, regardless of value, if the shipment is traveling under an export license or is destined to one of the above listed countries.
Do I have to fill out separate SED/EEI for each box or invoice included in my shipment?
No. A single SED/EEI is all that is required for the entire shipment. Exporters participating in AES have the option of providing information at the invoice or shipment level.
Is an SED/EEI required for hand-carried merchandise?
Yes, unless the merchandise is owned by the individual that is taking it out of the country and is not for consumption in a foreign country. Material that is for export and consumption in a foreign country must be reported on an SED/EEI.
Do I have to report the Kimberley Process Certificate Number for rough diamonds?
Effective June 15, 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau requires the reporting of the Kimberly Process Certificate (KPC) number for exports or re-exports of rough diamonds filed through the AES in accordance with Clean Diamond Trade Act. This is intended to prevent the import and export of "conflict diamonds," which are rough diamonds, the proceeds of which are used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments.

Additional information can be found directly from the US Government:
AES Direct Web site
Foreign Trade Main Web site
AES General Help
SED Forms and General Help
SED-Related Web sites

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