Sep 6, 2019

Relief to Hurricane-Affected Areas: Guidance on Exports for Humanitarian Relief to Hurricane-Affected Areas

US Census Bureau

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The following guidelines apply per Title 15, Part 30, Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) when exporting goods to non-sanctioned countries for humanitarian relief to hurricane-affected areas.
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Questions regarding filing requirements for shipments to hurricane-affected areas can be answered by the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Trade Management Call Center at 1-800-549-0595; select option 1 for Automated Export System inquiries, option 2 for commodity classification inquiries, or option 3 for trade regulation questions. For further guidance, please view the Census Bureau’s Export Training Videos at <>.
Shipments donated for relief or charity that are valued over $2,500 per the designated Schedule B numbers listed below or shipments requiring a license must be filed in the Automated Export System (AES). Shipments of donated food, medicine and clothing do not require a license. Shipments less than $2,500 are exempt from filing and the low value exemption, No Electronic Export Information (NOEEI) 30.37(a), will be used. The four Schedule B numbers filers use for these shipments are found in Chapter 98 of Schedule B: Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States are as follows:
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Schedule B Numbers
  • 9802.10.0000: Commingled food products, donated for relief or charity by individuals or private agencies.
  • 9802.20.0000: Medicinal and pharmaceutical products donated for relief or charity by individuals or private agencies.
  • 9802.30.0000: All wearing apparel (including footwear and headwear) donated for relief or charity by individuals or private agencies, and used wearing apparel donated for relief or charity by government agencies.
  • 9802.40.0000: Articles donated for relief or charity by individuals or private agencies, not elsewhere specified or included.
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Export Information Code
The code to identify the type of export shipment or condition of the donated goods is CH- Shipments of goods donated for charity.
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Determining the Value
Since the goods are not being sold, the value to be reported in the AES is the market value for the goods. If the customer is unsure of the value, considerations should be given to cost if sold. This can be an estimated value. The value should closely align with what is being exported to avoid delays in shipping. Please see section 30.6(a)(17) of the FTR regarding regulatory requirements for determining value.
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Determining the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI)
The USPPI is the person or legal entity in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the export transaction. The USPPI is responsible for filing or authorizing an agent to file the shipment information in the AES. Organizations such as Red Cross, churches, etc., requesting donation of goods for export to hurricane-affected areas are considered the USPPI for AES filing purposes. Individuals directly exporting goods for humanitarian relief can also be the USPPI and are responsible for the AES filing.
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Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to register and file in AES
In order to file or authorize the filing of an AES record an EIN must be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service for identification purposes. (See Federal Register Notice, Volume 74, Number 149, published Wednesday, August 5, 2009, pp. 38914.) A Social Security Number (SSN) cannot be used in the AES as an identification number. Therefore, if the exporter has an SSN he/she must obtain an EIN prior to registering and/or filing to the AES. However, if a foreign entity is in the United States when the items are purchased or obtained for export, and does not have an EIN, it shall report a Dun & Bradstreet number, border crossing number, passport number or any other number assigned by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For instructions on how to obtain an EIN, see <>. The approximate timeframes for receiving an EIN are as follows:
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Method How Process Timeframe
Online Go to <>, under “Online Services,” click on “Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online” Approximately 15 minutes
Toll-free call 800-829-4933 Approximately 15 minutes
Apply by FAX 859-669-5760 4 business days
Apply by mail Internal Revenue Service Attn: EIN Operation Cincinnati, OH 45999 (Need Form SS-4) 4 weeks
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How to access Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) AESDirect and submit the Electronic Export Information
1. Register for an ACE account.
Register for an ACE account with your EIN at <>.
For additional guidance, please review How to Apply for An ACE Exporter Account.
2. Obtain username and password.
You will receive an email to obtain your account’s username and password. Please note that the Shared Secret Value is the Account ID.
3. Disable your pop-up blocker before accessing ACE AESDirect.
For additional guidance on how to disable your pop-up blocker, please verify your web browser’s Help section.
4. Access the ACE AESDirect portal.
After obtaining your username and password, please log in to ACE at <>. Click on the Accounts tab. Change the View to Exporter and click GO. Under Select Task, click on “Submit AESDirect Filings.” Read through and agree to the Certification Statements to access ACE AESDirect.
5. Download the ACE AESDirect User Guide and sample shipment.
The ACE AESDirect User Guide provides all the information necessary to get acquainted with the system. Also available is the sample shipment document, a screen-by-screen depiction of a mock shipment reported through the ACE AESDirect system.

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