Census wants to hear from you



The Census Bureau has posted a request to add a new data element to the EEI and also fix a few errors that exist within the filing of US exports in AES. Census is responsible for collecting, compiling, and publishing export trade statistics for the United States under the provisions of Title 13.  

Census has proposed to add a conditional data element, country of origin, when a foreign origin is selected in the Foreign/Domestic Origin Indicator field in the EEI. The FTR defines foreign goods as goods that were originally grown, produced, or manufactured in a foreign country, then subsequently entered into the United States, admitted to a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), or entered into a CBP bonded warehouse, but not substantially transformed in form or condition by further processing or manufacturing in the United States, U.S. FTZs, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

Currently, foreign trade statistics do not provide insight sufficient to identify the gaps in domestic product and supply, evaluate supply chains, or address trade imbalances. U.S. Government agencies and private entities need accurate and complete foreign trade statistics to create and monitor trade agreements, formulate trade policy, assess U.S. supply chain issues, and identify and address trade imbalances.

The collection of the Country of Origin field in AES for re-exports would eliminate the reliance on information provided by foreign partners, thereby increasing the accuracy and timeliness of the foreign trade statistics used to monitor trade agreements and policy to assist in assessing U.S. supply chain issues. 

The Census Bureau is seeking public comments from data users, businesses, and others to assess this proposed change on foreign trade statistics. Below are questions to consider when providing feedback to this proposed rule; however, any pertinent feedback not captured by these questions is welcome.  

  1. Describe potential uses of the Census Bureau’s statistical data of international trade.  
  2. Describe the potential value of adding country of origin to the EEI if using the Census Bureau’s statistical data of international trade. 
  3. If a stakeholder utilized or managed proprietary software to communicate with the AES, how long would it need to potentially add the Country of Origin field?  
  4. How long would a company who utilizes or manages proprietary software need to make programming changes to potentially add the Country of Origin field to its interface to AES?  
  5. Are there business practices that a company would need to implement in order to come into compliance with the reporting of the Country of Origin field?  
  6. How would the country of origin be identified when companies store or warehouse goods of multiple origins together?  

It is very important for companies to review their current data flows that are used to transmit their export order. This proposed change could increase the number of commodity lines in the filing to accommodate the new data element. Voicing your concern or support of the proposed change is beneficial when you communicate with any of the trade associations in which you are a member, the associations are able to present multiple voices that would support your position. 

To file comments for this notice, they must be submitted by February 14, 2022, using one of the following methods: 

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. The identification number for this rulemaking is identified by RIN 0607–AA59; or  
  • By email directly to gtmd.ftrnotices@census.gov. Include RIN 0607–AA59 in the subject line 

If you wish to discuss this proposed change, please feel free to contact me directly at michael.ford@bdpint.com.