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What Is a U.S. Authorized Agent?
On: July 13, 2016 | By: David Noah | 3 min. read
In the who’s who of exporting, U.S. Authorized Agents don’t often make it to the top of the list. Even on our own blog, we haven’t given them the personalized treatment the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) and the Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI) receive.
Today, that changes. While their role is perhaps more straightforward than others, they are no less important. Here’s why.
What Is the U.S. Authorized Agent?
According to the Census Bureau, a U.S. Authorized Agent (also known as an authorized agent or agent) is “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.”
Simply put, the authorized agent is the party located in the United States who acts as the intermediary between the seller and purchaser. In some situations, the authorized agent may also be the freight forwarder.
Responsibilities and Recommendations
The U.S. Authorized Agent is responsible for the following:
- Obtaining authorization from the USPPI in order to prepare and file the EEI on the USPPI’s behalf.
- Obtaining authorization from the FPPI to prepare and file the EEI on its behalf in a Routed Export Transaction.
- Providing transportation data.
- Providing the USPPI with export information the agent provided as submitted through the AES, if requested. If they don’t, the USPPI has the right to contact the agent and notify them that, upon request, they are required to share a copy of the information filed per the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) Section 30.3.
- Retaining documentation. Generally, documentation should be kept for five years.
The Importance of Getting Written Authorization
In a routed export transaction, the FPPI must give their U.S. agent (typically their freight forwarder) or the USPPI power of attorney (POA) to prepare and file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) through AES on their behalf to be in compliance with the law.
My recommendation (as well as the Census Bureau's) is for the USPPI to request the POA to file through AES on behalf of the FPPI instead of using an agent.
Why? So that the USPPI can know the EEI is filed accurately and mitigate their risk for compliance errors. I write about this at length in our article, Why I Hate Routed Export Transactions, and it's worth your time to read and consider.
Where Does the Authorized Agent Fit in an Export Transaction?
We’ve written extensively on various roles in export transactions and how they coexist. For more information, check out these articles:
- Who Is the FPPI and Why Are They Important?
- How to Determine the USPPI
- Standard vs. Routed Export Shipment: What's the Difference?
- Our series, Understanding U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI)
About the Author: David Noah
David Noah is the founder and president of Shipping Solutions, a software company that develops and sells export documentation and compliance software targeted at U.S. companies that export. David is a frequent speaker on export documentation and compliance issues and has published several articles on the topic.