Border Brokers

How to File an AES for Vehicle Exporting

How to File an AES for vehicle exporting, Border Brokers, Licensed customs broker

On October 3rd, 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau instated a new requirement for vehicle exports to be filed in the Automated Export System (AES).

These requirements cover every land-based self-propelled vehicle, regardless of value or destination country, and must be transmitted at least 72 hours prior to when the vehicle is intended to cross. While the process is straightforward, the issue lies in that many vehicle exporters are simply not aware of the requirement to file an AES, and if they are, resources on how to do so are limited.

Exporters must file an AES to obtain an Internal Transaction Number (ITN), which is required for the vehicle to be legally exported out of the U.S. Without an ITN, exporters attempting to cross the border with their vehicle could incur fines of up to $10,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau foreign trade regulations.

So how would an exporter go about obtaining an ITN?

The easiest method is to go through a customs broker who offers AES filing services. Their pre-existing experience in the field will ensure that your vehicle is compliant when it crosses the border in addition to being able to generate an ITN for you.

Here’s how it works:

Either you’re a U.S. citizen exporting your vehicle out of the country, or you’re a foreign buyer importing the vehicle into a different country. All U.S. vendors and citizens are required to provide what is called a Federal Tax ID or Employer Identification Number (EIN). For example, a dealership will need to provide their EIN to you for you to file the AES. If you are an individual (ex. You are a U.S. citizen moving to Canada) then you will need to use your own EIN. If you do not already have one, you can apply online for one here. This is because, as the U.S. vendor or individual, you are the U.S. Principle Party in Interest for the transaction.

This isn’t necessarily the case if you are a foreign buyer and are moving the vehicle across the border yourself.

Many importers can negate the requirement for an EIN by physically purchasing the vehicle while in the U.S.–for example, a Canadian traveling to the U.S. to purchase the vehicle, and then returning to Canada (with or without the vehicle). In this case, the importer becomes the U.S. Principle Party in Interest, and can use their passport number in place of an EIN. Keep in mind, however, this only applies to foreign buyers. A U.S. passport number cannot be used in place of an EIN.

Once you’ve determined whether or not you need an EIN, you’ll need to plan a Date of Crossing and a Port of Crossing. These factors are critical in ensuring your ITN is received by CBP and that you are safe to cross. You must cross the border on the date provided–any earlier than that, and you could incur penalties. You must also cross at the port specified, because this is the port that has received your ITN and your 72 hours’ notice.

With your Date and Port of Crossing in mind, the next step is to find a customs broker to file your AES. Border Brokers offers a simple, straightforward solution to AES filing with a package that contains instructions and all the forms to fill out. You will need such information as the serial number or VIN of the vehicle, the weight, and the value–either the purchase price, or the Kelley Blue Book value. Below is an example of the form you’ll have to fill out:

After completing the AES package and sending it to us, the port at which you are crossing will have to be notified. Typically, this is up to you, however Border Brokers can transmit data on your behalf if you would like to arrange for it.

Now, let’s assume you’re importing a vehicle into Canada. Once the day comes for you to cross, ensure that you are crossing on the date you have specified–depending on when the 72 hours’ notice was sent, you may have to wait until after a specific time. You will need to have on hand the ITN and any relevant customs documents, as well as the vehicle’s original title and a copy of the bill of sale. You are required to make a stop at the U.S. side of customs first and check in with the Vehicle Exports division. Once you are cleared to cross, head over to the Canadian side of customs to declare your vehicle and account for any applicable duties or taxes, and proceed into Canada.

Filing your AES through Border Brokers will ensure your vehicle is exported compliantly making the process smooth and painless. Keep in mind that even after you have exported your vehicle from the U.S., there may still be additional steps to take on importing it into your destination country. For example, vehicles coming into Canada will still need to be registered and processed through the RIV program. Border Brokers can advise on the process of this as well.

We hope this serves to clear up some of the mystery of filing an AES to export a vehicle. If you still have questions after reading this post, or are simply interested in exporting a vehicle from the U.S., we encourage you to give us a call at 1-(866)-753-8156 or send us an email at

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