New EEI Filing Requirements for Goods under $2,500
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In general, we all know that exports from the U.S. valued at $2,500 or less per Schedule B classification are exempt from Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing requirements. We also know that there are exemptions to this exemption.  The export of goods under an export license requires EEI filing regardless of value.  A few years ago, this was expanded to require EEI filing for exports of goods under License Exception STA, as well as items with an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) of 9×515, and any ECCN with a “6” in the third position (so-called “600 series” ECCNs).

The List of Exemptions to the $2,500 Exemption just got Longer

Starting Monday, June 29, 2020, any item with an ECCN listed on Supplement 2 of Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that is going to China, Russia, or Venezuela requires EEI filing, regardless of value, even though a license may not be required.  In addition, beginning September 27, 2020, this will extend to all ECCNs for exports to China, Russia, or Venezuela.  Note that items not controlled under an ECCN, designated EAR99, will not require EEI filing.

The Challenge for Exporters and Freight Forwarders

Freight Forwarders:  You are often left with the task of deciding whether or not to file an EEI for an export shipment.  If under $2,500 and no export license, don’t file.  This was pretty black and white on the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI).  Savvy freight forwarders are already looking a little deeper for those STA License Exceptions, or ECCNs of 9×515 and “600 series”.  Under the new requirement, freight forwarders must now check that any ECCNs are listed in that Supplement 2 of Part 744.

Exporters:  You should closely monitor their freight forwarder’s EEI filings.  Failure to file, or late filing, of an EEI would be a Federal Trade Regulation violation with a penalty of $1,000 per day up to a maximum of $10,000.  Failure to report these ECCNs on shipments to China, Russia, or Venezuela would be an EAR violation with a penalty of up to $300,000 per occurrence.

Final Thought

There’s no harm in filing the EEI when it’s not required.  Come September 27, 2020, EEI will be required for all ECCNs to China, Russia, and Venezuela.  It may be prudent and expeditious to simply file the EEI for all ECCNs to these countries today.

Who was that masked man?

Trade Compliance Geek

I had been feeling lucky. Nobody I knew had contracted COVID19. At least not that I was aware. But yesterday, I learned an aunt in a care facility was diagnosed. I hope you all are staying lucky.

Seems I don’t leave the house but about every week to ten days to buy groceries. My car’s gas mileage has improved – I must be getting six weeks to the gallon! But I think I’m overdue for a haircut. The face mask? My niece made that for me. Frogs! I love it!

Professionally, we’re all struggling. Reduced hours. No hours. I’m not working nearly as much. So here’s the deal. If there’s anything I can do for you. Just let me know. Just don’t make me leave my home office. Just click on my Virtual Coffee, Conversation, and Compliance page to book your free chat session.  We don’t even have to talk compliance.  Maybe we can compare face masks.

We’re gonna bounce back from this.  Just watch us.

Demurrage, Detention, and the Pandemic

Detention.  Isn’t that where I had to stay after school and write 100 times, “I will not (whatever bad thing I did)?”  Never mind.

We’ve all heard about demurrage and detention, but with a good freight forwarder and customs broker, we rarely incur these costs.  But with the pandemic’s disruptions to the supply chain, product demand, an inventory levels, they are becoming a real concern.

Demurrage comes from the old French demeurer, meaning to linger or remain. Years ago, merchants charted ships to move their goods. When a loaded ship arrived in port, the merchant had an agreed upon period of time to unload the ship. The ship owner wanted the cargo removed so he could charter the ship out to another merchant. If the merchant held up the ship beyond his allotted time, he was charged a fee. Today, most cargo moves in containers, and if you don’t remove them from the container yard within several days after offloading the ship (your free time), you can be charged hundreds of dollars per day for demurrage.

Detention is similar to when I was detained after school. It applies to having the container OUT of the container yard longer than allowed. Whether stuffing a container for export, or devanning an imported container, you must return that container to the container yard within the required period of time, or you are charged hundreds of dollars per day for detention, for detaining the container.

You will sometimes hear the term per-diem. That simply means per day, and by itself, you don’t know whether it refers to demurrage or detention, since both are charged on a daily basis.

Now to the pandemic. Although China’s factories were briefly shut down, they are now back on line, shipping goods to the U.S. But now the U.S. is shut down. Customers aren’t buying goods, inventories are backing up, and there’s no place to put all the stuff coming off the ships.

Leaving containers at the pier until you’re ready to receive them will result in demurrage charges. But pulling the containers out and parking them, leaving the cargo inside as if it’s your “extra” warehouse space, will result in detention charges.

Some ocean carriers are beginning to offer a Suspension of Transit service where they can drop off your container mid-shipment. Generally, demurrage is more expensive in the busier origin and destination ports, but less expensive in some stopover along the way. They can drop your container off, and you can then schedule reloading onto a different ship at a later date. The nice thing is that they can do this on the same bill of lading – not splitting the bill of lading. There is a charge for this, but depending on the length of time, it will generally be less than demurrage or detention at the origin or destination ports.

There are requirements. You must arrange for this at the time of booking, which may involve your supplier overseas. And you must give the carrier some advance notice to reload.

There are also some restrictions. You may not do this with refrigerated containers or hazardous materials.  Nor can you do this with LCL cargo, because you’re sharing the container with others.

You don’t have to work directly with the ocean carrier on this. Rather have your freight forwarder make the arrangements.

Hopefully, it won’t be too long until the world get back to something a little more normal.

Q&A: Can we file our own EEI?

Can an exporting company file it’s own Electronic Export Information (EEI)? SHOULD they file their own EEI?

Link to Census for self-filing of EEI:

Jim Dickeson is a trade compliance geek who gets his kicks helping exporters, importers, and freight forwarders with their compliance headaches. You can find him at, and at

#Export #Compliance #EEI

Work from Home

Trade Compliance Geek

Welcome to the new reality.  Due to the worldwide virus outbreak, more of us are working from home.

Work from home?  Gee, I’ve been doing that for several years now.  I’m a freelance consultant in United States export and import regulatory compliance.  I’ve not even met most of my clients.  They’re mostly outside of my state, some outside of the country.  Gotta love the internet.  Working from home is nothing new for me.  I drink less coffee.  And I pet the cat more.

So if you or your company have a need, and you’re working from home, let’s talk.  And maybe trade cat pics.

Stay safe.  Wash your hands more.  Touch your face less.  And we’ll get through this. /

Transiting Third Countries With an Export License

Export license, check.  Packed your product, check.  Invoiced your customer (including the Destination Control Statement – good for you), check.  And your freight forwarder just picked it up.  Now it’s Miller time.

Wait a minute? What’s the routing of your shipment?

When you export goods from the U.S., or re-export goods from a foreign country, under an export license, you need to watch out for prohibited routings via other countries. Your export license will usually allow transiting third countries, whether to stopover at an airport, or to be transferred from a ship to a truck or rail. But there are several countries through which such transit is not allowed, unless a license is not required to ship to those countries, or if transit is specifically allowed by your export license. Those countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Cuba, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, North Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, and transiting any of them might mean an export violation. See General Prohibition 8 (15 CFR 736.2(b)(8).

Also, you must be aware of the export control laws in the third country you are transiting. If that in-transit country requires an export license to your country of ultimate destination, you must obtain that license in addition to the one issued by the U.S. This applies to all in-transit countries, not just the ones listed above. Otherwise, you might be facing an export violation in that in-transit country.

Exporters: Be aware of potential routings by your freight forwarder, and obtain any export licenses from one or more in-transit countries. Then instruct your freight forwarder to adhere to that routing, and not switch to a different routing on a different carrier just to save a few dollars.

Freight forwarders: When your customer gives you a shipment under an export license, you must confirm with your customer that your proposed routing falls within the scope of any export licenses they have.

I think I’ll be an export violation for Halloween. Not THAT’S scary.

And NOW it’s Miller time. Or, since you’ve once again avoided export violation, make it a Guinness.