US Customs and Border Patrol Memo on Exporting US Used Cars Before Importing into Mexico

November 15, 2014
On Nov. 13, 2014, the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) issued a formal memo, reaffirming the 1992 US Customs rules that American citizens must formally export their US-titled used cars, before the vehicle is permanently imported into any other country.

Here is the key part of the official CBP memo.

“Exporting Used Self-Propelled Vehicles
In accordance with the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), the U.S. Census Bureau (Census) mandates filing of Electronic Export Information (EEI) through the Automated Export System (AES) or through AESDirect for all used self-propelled vehicles 72 hours prior to export regardless of destination, value or condition. (Reference: Federal Register Notice 78 FR 16366, Title 15 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 30.2(a)(1)(iv)(H) and 15 CFR 30.4(b)(5).

These regulations apply to all used-self-propelled vehicles. First-time and one-time exports will require completion and submission of all mandatory AES filing requirements 72 hours prior to export.

Pursuant to 19 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 192 ownership documentation requirements, used self-propelled vehicles entered into the United States under an in-bond procedure, a carnet or Temporary Importation Bond (TIB) are also exempt from the EEI filing requirements.

Exporters, Carriers or Freight Forwarders must submit proof of ownership documentation as required under 19 CFR 192 along with the Internal Transaction Number (ITN) EEI/AES proof of filing (clearly visible on the export documentation) 72 hours prior to export.

Pursuant to the FTR, civil penalties not to exceed $10,000 per violation may be imposed for failure to file export information in AES, delayed filing, filing of false or misleading information, and other violations of the FTR.

Recommendations for assistance in initiating and completing this process may be found within the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the Automated Export System (AES)?
The system for collecting Electronic Export Information (EEI) (or any successor document) from persons exporting goods from the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands; between Puerto Rico and the United States; and to the U.S. Virgin Islands from the United States or Puerto Rico.

Question: What is AESDirect?
: A free Internet application supported by the U.S. Census Bureau that allows U.S. Principal Parties In Interest (USPPIs), their authorized agent, or the authorized agent of the Foreign Principal Parties in Interest (FPPI) to transmit EEI through the AES via the Internet at


Question: What is an Internal Transaction Number (ITN)?

Answer: The AES generated number assigned to a shipment confirming that an EEI transaction was accepted and is on file in the AES.


Question: What is an Electronic Export Information (EEI)?

Answer: The electronic export data filed in the Automated Export System (AES) or AESDirect. This is the electronic data information from a person exporting from the United States.


Question: What is an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

Answer: An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a mandatory Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nine digit numerical assigned number which is used as the exporter’s unique identification in filing the AES transaction. An EIN should be applied for in advance, and is normally issued to the exporter (foreign and/or US-based) through an on-line process documented within the IRS website.


Question: Will a foreign entity be permitted to file the EEI in AES for used self-propelled vehicle for export?

Answer: A foreign entity must be a U.S. person or entity with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a DUNS number to register and file the EEI in AES/AESDirect. If the foreign entity does not have an EIN or DUNS number, a U.S. agent must be located and authorized to file their export information in the AES/AESDirect. If a U.S. agent is authorized to file the EEI on their behalf, a border crossing number, passport number or any number assigned by CBP will be required to file in AES/AESDirect.


Question: I am a foreign entity with an EIN or DUNS number, how do I register in AESDirect?

Answer: AESDirect is a free filing online tool that processes Electronic Export Information (EEI). For directions on how to access and/or create an AESDirect account, refer to


Question: What is the definition of a USPPI?

Answer: A U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) is the person or legal entity in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the export transaction. Generally, that person or entity is the U.S. seller, manufacturer, or order party, or the foreign entity while in the United States when purchasing or obtaining the goods for export.


Question: What is the definition of a FPPI?

Answer: The party abroad who purchases the goods for export or to whom final delivery or end-use of the goods will be made. This party may be the ultimate consignee.


For personal vehicle exports, the FPPI will normally be the person who purchased the vehicle in the U.S. and is completing the export transaction as the ultimate end-use registered owner.


Question: What is a U.S. Authorized Agent?

Answer: An individual or legal entity physically located in or otherwise under the jurisdiction of the United States that has obtained power of attorney or written authorization from a USPPI or FPPI to act on its behalf, and for purposes of this part, to complete and file the EEI.


Question: What identification number should a foreign entity provide to the U.S. agent authorized to file the AES or AESDirect on their behalf?

Answer: The foreign entity may provide a border crossing number, passport number, or any number assigned by CBP.


Question: I am a U.S. citizen moving to a foreign country and would like to export my vehicle. How do I file in AES?

Answer: If you are transporting your vehicle and have an EIN or DUNS number, you can register and file by utilizing AESDirect or hire an U.S. agent to file on your behalf.

Question: If the foreign entity is the USPPI (made the purchase for export while in the U.S.) or the foreign entity has a U.S. agent to file on their behalf, what U.S. address is required in AES or AESDirect?

Answer: The foreign entity, or authorized U.S. agent, will use the address location where the vehicle starts its journey to the port of export; i.e., this may be the address of a hotel or other address associated to the vehicle purchase acquisition transaction.


Question: In addition to the AES filing requirement, am I required to provide ownership documentation, such as the original vehicle title?

Answer: Yes, proof of ownership documentation is required in accordance with Title 19 Code of Federal Regulations Part 192. All documentation must be presented to the port of export 72 hours prior to export along with the Internal Transaction Number (ITN) AES generated number.


Question: If an exporter is having difficulties filing in AES or AESDirect, who is the appropriate point of contact for assistance?

Answer: Questions may be directed to the Census Bureau at 1-800-549-0595 or with any AES/AESDirect questions or for guidance on Title 15 CFR Part 30-the Foreign Trade Regulations. ”

Note that the previous CPB rules for $250 fines for private individuals and $10,000 fines for professional importers who do not formally export used American vehicles, still apply.
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Disclaimer: This information is not meant as legal advice. It is for educational and informational purposes only.  See a professional for advice on important issues.

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For more details on Mexican Import/Aduana rules, please see our main article at:
Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan. ©Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

2 Responses to US Customs and Border Patrol Memo on Exporting US Used Cars Before Importing into Mexico

  1. Pingback: US Customs and Border Patrol Memo on Exporting US Used Cars before Importing into Mexico | Surviving Yucatan

  2. Thank you for the informative blog on exporting Used Self-Propelled Vehicles, including automobiles, into Mexico. From sanctions compliance, licensing, changing regulations and more, exporting from the U.S. to many countries can be complex. With AESDirect transitioning from U.S. Census to the CBP ACE Portal, many in the export industry are facing new procedures and protocols. In order to address some open questions on the topic, Descartes has developed an interactive Refactored AESDirect eBook as well as an online resource center and an infographic. The eBook may be found at the following URL:

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