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U.S. Census Bureau Resources Help Exporters Make Informed Decisions
December 19, 2023 Ken Click, Business Development Specialist

The Bureau of the Census has been responsible for U.S. foreign trade statistics since 1941, when the Division of Foreign Trade Statistics was transferred to the agency by the Department of Commerce. Advancements since then have allowed for more granular and timely data collection, as well as the introduction of free tools and resources designed to help U.S. exporters and other stakeholders make informed decisions. Examples include:

  • Schedule B Search Engine: All U.S. exporters are required to provide these 10-digit numbers when classifying their products on export documents. Simply type a description of a product into the search engine and corresponding Schedule B number(s) will populate. Schedule B numbers are an extension of 6-digit Harmonized System (HS) numbers that are used worldwide, and more information about their differences can be found here.

  • Global Market Finder: This tool enables searches by Schedule B codes to handily identify export partner countries by export dollar value, quantity sold and average unit price by country, method of shipping, and other information.

  • NAICS Search: These codes are used only in North America and categorize businesses by type of economic activity. Enter an industry or sector into the search field and matching NAICS codes will appear. A downloadable manual of all codes is also available. The NAICS codes used for classifying international trade commodities and the traditional NAICS codes described and linked here are different. 

  • USA Trade Online: Searches can be run in this extensive database by highly specific parameters, such as exports by state by HS and NAICS codes to identify patterns and trends. Among other benefits, the Census Bureau cites that USA Trade Online can measure the impact of foreign competition and be used as a statistical resource for determining trade policies. Registration is required.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau also vets companies with an Employer ID Number (EIN) seeking to access Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Reports. One of the available reports shows all export transactions over the past five years filed to the Automated Export System (AES) by EIN. AES is an automated system that identifies the type of goods leaving the U.S. as well as their value, origin, and who is responsible for them. Application to ACE is through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, and information contained in the reports is confidential transactional export data and should not be disclosed for nonofficial purposes. 

In addition, EXIM collaborates with the U.S. Census Bureau on outreach activities such as its International Trade Webinar Series, and sources its data in small business guides such as Export with Confidence: Tools and Opportunities for Texas Businesses (additional state and territory guides are coming soon). For those who are export ready and would like more information about EXIM, please click here to schedule a free consultation with an EXIM trade finance specialist.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.