Export system in overdrive
- By Judi Hasson
- Mar 30, 2000
The U.S. Customs Service on Thursday reported a dramatic upswing in the
amount of exported goods processed through its Automated Export System.
For January, the system that processes export documents electronically
handled nearly 40 percent of the paperwork for the $60.4 billion in goods
leaving the United States by ship or air. That was a 17 percent increase
"It is the world's fastest Corvette," said Peter Baish, director of
the Custom Service's outbound programs.
Until last year, AES was only used as a pilot project, but it slowly
replaced the Automated Export Reporting Program, a 25-year-old system that
was not Year 2000-compliant and which died a quiet death on Dec. 31, 1999.
The new system has the capacity to process more than 600,000 electronic
forms a month, as compared to AERP's 7,000 a year, Baish said.
In addition, exporters can file their export reporting documents online
through AESDirect, which streamlines the process for exporting items ranging
from coffins to used cars.
But while Customs reported one success story, it is still struggling
to find the money to keep its modernization program on track. To keep track
of imports, it wants to replace an antiquated computer system with the Automated
Commercial Environment. ACE is expected to cost $1.2 billion over four years,
and so far this year, Congress has not earmarked money for the program.