Amendments to Foreign Trade Regulations, Effective July 18th, 2017

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau published revisions and amendments to the Foreign Trade Regulations pertaining to Export Electronic Information (“EEI”) filings that are required for exports from the United States. The rule takes effect July 18, 2017.

The Final Rule amends the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) pertaining to Export Electronic Information (“EEI”) filings new export reporting requirements.  Specifically, the Census Bureau is making changes related to the implementation of the International Trade Data System (ITDS), in accordance with the Executive Order 13659, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for American Businesses.

The Census Bureau has added a new original Internal Transaction Number (ITN) data element. The original ITN is an optional data element that can be used if a previously filed shipment is replaced or divided and for which a new EEI record(s) must be filed. The addition of the original ITN will assist the export trade community and enforcement agencies in verifying that a filer completed the mandatory filing requirements for the original shipment and any additional shipment(s).

The revisions retain certain definitions found in the EEI regulations, but also make additions and changes to other terms. For example, the Census Bureau received proposals to change/clarify who should be reported as the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (“USPPI”), including definitions of “Export Department” or “Shipping Department.” The Census Bureau clarified that the contact information must be a person with knowledge of the shipment instead of a group or department. Therefore, the Census Bureau retained the current definition of USPPI.

The new regulations also clarify that with respect to the Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations, “license value” is not required for transactions that are covered by a license exemption and language has been added to the related regulation to indicate so.

Additionally, the term “commercial document” has been amended to “commercial loading document” to clarify that the reference includes the bill of lading.

Other miscellaneous exemptions to EEI filing requirements include Country Group E:1, which includes Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria (Terrorist Supporting Countries). In 2016, Cuba was removed from Group E:1 and is now under E:2 (Unilateral Embargo). Countries in Country Group E:2 have been added under Section 30.37(y) and designated shipments are not required to file EEI. However, the Census Bureau has the authority to periodically require the reporting of shipments that are normally exempt from filing

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