The Census Bureau is requesting information to assess potential impacts of a regulatory change in the filing requirements and to identify stakeholder priorities for data quality and availability.
On September 17th, 2020 The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau), the agency that has the legal responsibility for the collection of US export and import statistics issued a Federal Register Notice(FRN) of their Federal Trade Regulations (FTR). The notice is seeking comments from the Industry to remove the Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing requirement for shipments between the United States and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
What are the issues at hand for this change?
For many years, the Census Bureau has received requests, from both the government of Puerto Rico and members of the international trade community, to eliminate the requirement to file EEI for shipments between the United States and Puerto Rico in the Automated Export System. One of the reasons for requesting removal of the filing requirement is that it places a tag on Puerto Rico like a foreign country, when in fact Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and part of the U.S. customs area.
Arguments have also been made that the requirement imposes a burden on what should be treated as interstate commerce, discourages manufacturers in the 50 states to ship to Puerto Rico, and impedes economic development on the island.
However, removal of the filing requirement could impact the quality and availability of key federal statistics.
What are the next steps?
The question becomes, how do we change the current process with a result that keeps the important trade statistics in place while removing many of the old positions that are no longer deemed to be current?
BDP and Nestor Reyes, Inc. (NRI) (BDP Agents) are active in working with companies and governments to try to present the best possible solution that works for everyone.
If you would like to start a dialogue with BDP and or NRI please do not hesitate to contact me or Edmundo Rodriguez at NRI).