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What is an EEI, and when do I need to file one?

The Electronic Export Identifier, or EEI, is the replacement for the no-longer-accepted manual filing process known as the shipper’s export declaration or SED form. The U.S. Bureau of Census replaced the forms with this electronic process called AES Direct which is now accessed through the CBP ACE (the US Customs and Border Protection on the Automated Commercial Environment) website portal.

Do I need to file an EEI?

The United States government requires that any time you export a single commodity having one HTS Code/Schedule B Number over $2500 in value, you must file an EEI with the US Customs and Border Protection on the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal.
To determine if you need to do a filing on your shipment, you need to know the HTS Code (previously called a Harmonized Code as well as a Schedule B Number). If the total value of the items that share an HTS Code add up to over $2500, then you need to do a filing. If no items sharing an HTS Code add up to over $2500, you do not need to file and EEI (even if the total value of what you are shipping is over $2500).

How to have Preferred Shipping handle your EEI

If you are a customer, we can do the filing for you, free of charge. Email your Commercial Invoice to Include any of the items listed below that are not on the invoice in the email body. Please note that Preferred Shipping is unable to process an EEI for commodities that require an export license.

  • Sender Tax ID Number
  • HTS Code
  • Country of Origin
  • Quantity of the item you are shipping
  • Total value
  • Brief description of the item
  • Full sender and receiver company name and address

Once the filing is complete, we will send you an ITN (Internal Transaction Number) to put on your shipping paper-work to show DHL that you have done the filing.
If you have not made the waybill yet, in our PSCSHIP program you can select the ITN button as you make the way-bill. Put the ITN into the field that appears.
If you have made the waybill, write the ITN by hand on each page of the waybill. Failure to have the ITN listed on the paperwork will cause DHL to hold the shipment and not have it leave the country until the filing is done. So, make sure it is on the paperwork to avoid delays.

How to have DHL handle your EEI

DHL will do the filing for you for a $15 service fee. To have them do it:

  1. Select the AES EIN button when you are creating the paperwork in our PSCSHIP program.
  2. Put your Tax ID Number in that field.
  3. Make sure all the other items are listed on the Commercial Invoice, and DHL will do the filing for you.


There are some exceptions to the FTR (Federal Trade Regulations). Shipments to Canada, for example, do not need an EEI filed. This is the only country with that exception. Also, it is not necessary to file an AES for imports; this only applies to export shipments. Other countries have similar laws, but the sender will have to do the filing on their end. That is not something you can file for them.
Some shipments require an EEI be filed regardless of the value of the commodity described above and they are: • Any shipment that requires an Export License.
• Shipments to Iran, Iraq and Libya.
• Any Shipment going to a country that has a U.S. Embargo.
• Shipments to China, Russia or Venezuela that are NOT classified under the (Export Control Classification Number) ECCN general classification of EAR99. See our knowledge center article for additional information.

Please be sure to contact our office at or at 800-827-7987 with any questions you may have and we’ll do everything we can to help.

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We have more than 25 years of experience supporting small and medium businesses with their shipping needs. As the oldest authorized reseller of DHL Express, we are international shipping experts. In addition to our international import and export services, we offer heavy air freight, domestic USPS services, and domestic trucking services.