what's up?


When with friends, working in different industries, when talking about what happens around us, being in our early fifties and coming from a non digital background, we regularly come to the conclusion that we live in a world that is totally insane. And the digital tools do not help us but make things worse. Details?  Well, here’s one.

I produce tauerville products in the US, mostly. The products are owned and shipped through my US company. When exporting goods with a value of more than 2500$, you need to file an EEI (electronic export information) to an AES (automated export system). Below 2500$ , there as exemption 30.37(a). The EEI filing needs to be done through AESdirect (here’s the entry point http://aesdirect.census.gov/) . To do so, I needed to get an admin account through the US census bureau. And then an account for me as filler. And then I needed to go to “school” and do an online test (I failed twice) to get the permission to actually file the EEI. There, in AEs, we are talking about USPPI, SPPI, HTS numbers and and and. I am sort of proud that I managed to get it all done and actually file an EEI last year. Uff.

Now, AESdirect is available in ACE! And yes, your AESdirect is going to be discontinued. And yes, you need to apply for ACE again, lose your template and everything. We all need to register again for ACE and registration with ACE is about as complicated as it was for AESdirect. The whole transition is the because of the “President’s Executive Order to streamline the Import and Export process for America’s businesses issued on February 19, 2014,” which might be a nice idea, but I wonder how many small businesses spend hours or days now just to get their electronic export information files done right and in good legal standing. Because: You need to go through a filer certification process again.

My status right now: I got an email with a link where I need to enter my “secret values”. But I did not get secret values (yet) and maybe I’ll get it through an administrator. If not: the email tells me to call an administrator for assistance, of course: without giving a phone number.

My English is ok, but sentences like “The ACE AESDirect application is referred to as Refactored AESDirect” make me go “what?”

This is not a shaming of the US census bureau. Here, in Europe, the same things happen. I have to file every year a survey telling the Swiss emperor how many people work with me and based on this information I have to pay some sort of pollution fees and and and.

OK. I will continue waiting for my “secret values” for starting my registration process in ACE, prepare to pay the VOC (volatile organic compounds) fee when importing alcohol containing goods into Switzerland, and will say a thank you prayer that after a good week at the Australian customs a sample shipment was finally released and Australian customs finally believed me that I do not ship vitamins, but perfume goods (over all, I was on the phone with Fedex for about 2 hours, and on the computer for about 2 more hours, writing highly official papers together for this shipment release).


Today’s picture: me labelling in the factory when I am not filling in forms.