What is an Electronic Export Information (EEI)?
What is an Internal Transaction Number (ITN)?
Why is it that not all shipments being exported out of the US require one?
These are just a few common questions shippers ask they are new to exporting outside of the US.
The US Government tracks product being exported out of the US for economic and security reasons. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) executes all regulation and enforcement of trade. An EEI needs to be filed when the total value of a shipment is over $2500. The exporter is required to file the EEI prior to passing the product along to the carrier. The information that the CBP requires during the filing of an EEI include the details of the exporter including their employer identification number, details of the recipient, and details about the product which is being exported. An EEI can be filed with the CBP though the Automated Export System Direct portal they provide.
Upon successfully filing an EEI, the CBP system will provide an ITN that will be required as proof of filing. An ITN starts with "AESX" and is followed by 13 numbers (ex. AESX2014251432541). The ITN may be required by the shipper upon shipping. Since the majority of shippers now allow the shipment details to be passed along electronically via their website or a TMS ( Transportation Management Software / shipping software), the ITN will be required to be passed along and verified before the customer is able to pick up the shipment.
There are a few exceptions to the requirement of filing an EEI. Shipments to Canada when the goods are not licensed or contain rough or uncut diamonds are one example; or US based shipments to other U.S. possessions/territories (i.e. Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Midway Island, Wake Island and American Samoa). The U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico are an exception, and an EEI must be filed if exporting to those countries. For additional exemption codes, see the CBP website.
Want to read more shipping need-to-knows? Check out this page which breaks down the different freight classes. You can also download our Ultimate Guide to Transportation Management Systems.