Census Policy on Declaration of Relief Goods


The United States Census Bureau issued the following guidance in regard to exporting goods for humanitarian relief to hurricane-affected areas:


Shipments less than $2,500 are exempt from filing and the low value exemption (NOEEI FTR 30.37(a)) can be used.  Shipments donated for relief or charity 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.  The four Schedule B numbers to be used for these shipments are found in Chapter 98 of the Schedule B – Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States.

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

Export Information Code (EIC)

The code to identify the type of export shipment or condition of the donated goods is CH:  Shipments of goods donated for charity. 

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.

Determining the USPPI

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 donations of goods for export to hurricane-affected areas are considered the USPPI for AES filing purposes.  Individuals directly exporting goods for humanitarian relief are responsible for the AES filing.

Obtaining an EIN to register and file in AES

In order to file or authorize the filing of an AES record, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) must be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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 use the following link:  

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/regulations/trb_obtaining_an_ein.pdf.  The approximate timeframes for receiving an EIN are as follows:




Process Timeframe



http://www.irs.gov, 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

How to access ACE AESDirect and submit the Electronic Export Information


  1. Register for an Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) account

Register for an ACE account with your EIN at https://ace.cbp.dhs.gov/acexpub/expapp.  For additional guidance, please review How to Apply for An ACE Exporter Account.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. Access the ACE AESDirect portal

After obtaining your username and password, please log in to ACE athttps://ace.cbp.dhs.gov.  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.

  1. 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.  You can obtain additional reference resources, including walkthrough videos here.

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