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Start Preamble

The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

Title: Automated Export System.

OMB Control Number: 0607-0152.Start Printed Page 63153

Form Number(s): Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) AESDirect Record Formats and related documents, including the AES Letter of Intent, ACE Exporter Account Application and Quick Reference Guide, AES Certification Statements, and the ACE AESDirect User Guide.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Number of Respondents: 287,314 filers who submit 17,315,950 shipments annually through the AES.

Average Hours per Response: 3 minutes per AES transaction.

Burden Hours: 865,798.

Needs and Uses: The Census Bureau requires mandatory filing of all export information via the AES. This requirement is mandated through Public Law 107-228 of the Foreign Trade Relations Act of 2003. This law authorizes the Secretary of Commerce with the concurrences of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to require all persons who file export information according to Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 9, to file such information through the AES.

The AES is the primary instrument used for collecting export trade data, which are used by the Census Bureau for statistical purposes. The AES record provides the means for collecting data on U.S. exports. Title 13, U.S.C., Chapter 9, Sections 301-307, mandates the collection of these data. The regulatory provisions for the collection of these data are contained in the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), Title 15, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 30. The official export statistics collected from these tools provide the basic component for the compilation of the U.S. position on merchandise trade. These data are an essential component of the monthly totals provided in the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Press Release, a principal economic indicator and a primary component of the Gross Domestic Product. Traditionally, other federal agencies use the Electronic Export Information (EEI) for export control purposes to detect and prevent the export of certain items by unauthorized parties or to unauthorized destinations or end users. This information is noted in the ACE AESDirect User Guide.

Since 2016, the Census Bureau and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have implemented the following enhancements to the AES, in accordance with revisions to the FTR: (1) Added the Original Internal Transaction Number (ITN) to the AES. The Original ITN field is an optional data element and is utilized if the filer creates an additional AES record for a shipment that was previously filed; (2) added the Ultimate Consignee Type data field, which requires the filer to identify the ultimate consignee as a Direct Consumer, Government Entity, Reseller, or Other.

In addition, the Census Bureau and CBP implemented the following changes to the AES: (1) Added Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) and increased edits and validations between License Codes and ECCNs, including the addition of the 600 series ECCNs; (2) renamed the country Swaziland to Eswatini in the AES; and (3) removed the BIS license codes C32, C49, C55, and C56.

The Census Bureau also revised the FTR to clarify the split shipment requirements (82 FR 18383) and the collection of the Kimberley Process Certificates (83 FR 17749). Additionally, the Census Bureau revised language in the FTR to reflect the implementation of the International Trade Data System, in accordance with the Executive Order 13659, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses.

These revisions made should not affect the average three-minute response time for the completion of the AES record: The Original ITN is an optional data element and filers will only report it when they choose to provide CBP with additional information about the export shipment; The Ultimate Consignee Type was added for the BIS for export enforcement purposes and is information that filers should know based on BIS's “Know Your Customer” guidance; The revision to the ECCNs and License Codes modified selections for fields that already exist.

Currently, the Census Bureau is drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to clarify the responsibilities of parties participating in routed and standard export transactions. The Census Bureau published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on October 6, 2017 (82 FR 46739) soliciting comments on the clarity, usability, and any other matters of interest to the trade community and the public related to the regulatory requirements for routed transactions. The Census Bureau considered all comments received in response to the ANPRM in drafting the NPRM. The NPRM potentially would propose revisions and add several key terms used in the regulatory provision of these transactions, including authorized agent, forwarding agent, standard export transaction and written release. While revisions to the FTR are necessary to improve clarity to the filing requirements for the routed export transaction, it is critical for the Census Bureau to ensure that any revisions made to the FTR will allow for the continued collection and compilation of accurate trade statistics. Additionally, it is important that the responsibilities of the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) and the U.S. authorized agent are clearly defined to ensure that the Electronic Export Information is filed by the appropriate party to prevent receiving duplicate filings or in some cases, no filings. The changes proposed in the NPRM will not have an impact on the reporting burden of the export trade community.

The information collected via the AES conveys what is being exported (description and commodity classification number), how much is exported (quantity, shipping weight, and value), how it is exported (mode of transport, exporting carrier, and whether containerized), from where (state of origin and port of export), to where (port of unloading and country of ultimate destination), and when a commodity is exported (date of exportation). The identification of the USPPI shows who is exporting goods. The USPPI and/or the forwarding or other agent information provides a contact for verification of the information.

The U.S. Federal Government uses every data element on the AES record. The Census Bureau published the Final Rule “Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR): Clarification on Filing Requirements” on April 19, 2017 (82 FR 18383) to update the language in the Foreign Trade Regulations to reflect the implementation of the International Trade Data System (ITDS). The ITDS was established to eliminate the redundant information collection requirements, efficiently regulate the flow of commerce, and effectively enforce laws and regulations relating to international trade. ITDS establishes a single portal system for the collection and distribution of standard electronic import and export data required by all participating federal agencies. In addition, this Rule allows federal agencies with appropriate authority to access export data in the AES and ensure consistency with the Executive Order 13659, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses, issued on February 19, 2014.

The data collected from the AES serves as the official record of export transactions. The mandatory use of the AES enables the Federal Government to produce more accurate export statistics. The Census Bureau delegated the Start Printed Page 63154authority to enforce the FTR to the BIS's Office of Export Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security's CBP and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The mandatory use of the AES also facilitates the enforcement of the Export Administration Regulations for the detection and prevention of exports of high technology commodities to unauthorized destinations by the BIS and the CBP; the International Traffic in Arms Regulations by the U.S. Department of State for the exports of munitions; and the validation of the Kimberly Process Certificate for the exports of rough diamonds.

Other Federal agencies use these data to develop the components of the merchandise trade figures used to calculate the balance of payments and Gross Domestic Product accounts; to enforce U.S. export laws and regulations; to plan and examine export promotion programs and agricultural development and assistance programs; and to prepare for and assist in trade negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Collection of these data also eliminates the need for conducting additional surveys for the collection of information, as the AES shows the relationship of the parties to the export transaction (as required by the Bureau of Economic Analysis). These AES data are also used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a source for developing the export price index and by the U.S. Department of Transportation for administering the negotiation of reciprocal arrangements for transportation facilities between the United States and other countries.

Export statistics collected from the AES aid state governments, private sector companies, financial institutions, and transportation entities in conducting market analysis and market penetration studies for the development of new markets and market-share strategies. A collaborative effort among the Census Bureau, the National Governors' Association and other data users resulted in the development of export statistics using the state of origin reported on the AES. This information enables state governments to focus activities and resources on fostering the exports of goods that originate in their states. Port authorities, steamship lines, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and air transport associations use these data for measuring the volume and effect of air or vessel shipments and the need for additional or new types of facilities.

Affected Public: Individuals, Businesses.

Frequency: On occasion.

Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

Legal Authority: Title 13 United States Code, Chapter 9, Section 301.

This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395-5806.

Start Signature

Sheleen Dumas,

Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2018-26538 Filed 12-6-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-07-P