New CBP Penalties for Export (AES) Violations

Jan 07, 2009   

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued guidelines regarding the imposition and mitigation of penalties for violations of its new export reporting regulations. In June 2008, CBP mandated that all required export information must be filed electronically via its Automated Export System (AES) or through AESDirect; paper filings of shipper’s export declarations would no longer be accepted. Beginning February 1, 2009, CBP will begin penalizing exports who fail to comply with this mandate.

It is important to note that penalties for filing to file electronic export information may be assessed against any and all culpable parties. Such parties include either the U.S. or Foreign ‘Principal Party in Interest’ (USPPI or FPPI). The PPI is the person or entity that receives the primary benefit (monetary or otherwise) of the export transaction. This party could be the seller (wholesaler/distributor) of the merchandise, the manufacturer, the company that placed the order for the merchandise, or the foreign purchaser. Penalties can also be assessed freight forwarders, brokers, and carriers.

CBP identified four specific areas in which penalties will be assessed:

– failure to file Electronic Export Information (EEI) in AES,
– late filing of EEI in AES,
– failure to file all information in AES or filing incorrect information in AES; and
– failure by the carrier to provide documents or information to CBP.

The maximum penalty for violations of the electronic export filing regulations is $10,000, or $1,100 per day in the case of late filings. The CBP guidelines also describe the mitigating and aggravating factors that can affect these penalty amounts.

Exporters should be aware that these penalties may be levied in addition to other applicable penalties that may arise from the export transaction. For example, if an exporter fails to file the required electronic export information for an exportation of counterfeit trademarked goods that had been illegally entered into the U.S., CBP may assess penalties for the AES violation as well as for the trademark violation.

The complete text of “Guidelines for the Imposition and Mitigation of Civil Penalties for Failure to Comply with the Foreign Trade Regulations in 15 CFR Part 30” as issued by CBP may be found below.

Guidelines For Penalties

For assistance with navigating the confusing waters of export regulation, please contact Fuerst Ittleman at 305 350 5690 or contact@fidjlaw.com.