Eliminate the Social Security Number (SSN) as an Identification Number in the Automated Export System (AES).
Base sources are taken from http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/regulations/fedregnotices/fedreg_20100222.html

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Census Bureau (Census Bureau) issues this final rule
amending the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) to eliminate the
requirement to report a Social Security Number (SSN) as an
identification number when registering to file and filing electronic
export information in the Automated Export System (AES [filing Shippers
Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping]) or AESDirect.
If the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) or the U.S. authorized
agent residing in or having an office in the United States does not
have an Employer Identification Number (EIN for international shipping),
the USPPI or the U.S. authorized agent must obtain an EIN for international
shipping through the Web site of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Former SSN filers who want to use a Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS)
rather than an EIN for international shipping for identification
purposes, must first obtain an EIN for international shipping from
the IRS, and apply to Dun & Bradstreet for a DUNS. This final
rule is bEIN for international shippingg implemented to ensure
that a USPPI's or authorized agent's SSN is protected in accordance
with the Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act), title 5, United States Code
(U.S.C.), section 552a. On August 5, 2009, this final rule was
published as an interim final rule; the Census Bureau is finalizing
this rule without change.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective March 24, 2010.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Census Bureau is responsible for collecting, compiling, and
publishing export and import trade statistics for the United States
under the provisions of title 13, U.S.C. Chapter 9, section 301(a). On
June 2, 2008, the Census Bureau issued a final rule to amend the FTR to
implement provisions in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (Pub.
L. 107-228, Sec.  1404(a)-(c), 116 Stat. 1454 (2002)). Specifically,
the amended FTR required mandatory filing of export information through
the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for international
shipping] or AESdirect for all shipments where a Shipper's Export
Declaration (SED) is required. The USPPI or U.S. authorized agent
residing or having an office in the United States was required to enter
an EIN for international shipping, SSN or DUNS when reporting export
transactions in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED)
for international shipping] or AESdirect.
Though the effective date of this final rule was July 2,
2008, the Census Bureau announced that it would delay implementation
until September 30, 2008, to allow all affected entities sufficient
time to come into compliance with the final rule.
    Pursuant to the requirements of the Privacy Act and guidance from
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on August 5, 2009, the
Census Bureau published in the Federal Register an interim final rule
with request for comments. The interim
final rule amended the FTR to eliminate the requirement to report an
SSN as an identification number when registering to file and when
filing electronic export information in the AES [filing Shippers
Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping] or AESdirect.
    Upon implementation of this final rule, the AES [filing
Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping] will no longer
provide the option for using the SSN as an identification number. All
USPPI and U.S. authorized agents who currently report an SSN when
filing in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for
international shipping], because they do not have or use an EIN
for international shipping or DUNS, must provide an EIN for international
shipping or DUNS for identification purposes. EIN for international
shippings are available to both businesses and individuals
free of charge, and can be obtained by registering with the IRS at
http://www.irs.gov/ or by calling (800) 829-4933 and following
the instructions. A DUNS is available only to business entities
with EIN for international shippings and is available
for a fee at Dun and Bradstreet's Web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/.

Summary of Comments and Responses

    The Census Bureau received 50 comments on the interim final rule
published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2009. 74 FR 38914. A
summary of the comments and the Census Bureau's responses are provided
below.
    The major concerns were as follows:
    1. Clarify the procedure for obtaining an EIN for international
shipping. Several commenters requested clarification on the
procedure of how to obtain an EIN for international shipping for
the purpose of filing the EEI. To obtain an EIN for international
shipping, a business or individual must submit an application
to the IRS, at the contact information listed above, via the Internet,
phone, fax, or mail. There are no fees associated with obtaining
an EIN for international shipping, and the procedure to
obtain an EIN for international shipping takes approximately
15 minutes when applying online or by phone.
    2. Clarify the procedure for obtaining an EIN for international
shipping on behalf of another individual. One commenter requested
clarification on the proper use of the SS-4 form when obtaining
an EIN for international shipping. Individuals may prepare the SS-4
form when applying for an EIN for international shipping via mail, fax,
or authorize a third party to prepare the form on their behalf.
If a third party is completing the SS-4 form by mail or fax, the
individual for whom the EIN for international shipping is bein
obtained will complete the section ``Third Party Designee.'' If a third
party is completing the SS-4 form online, the individual will need to
print the SS-4 form, complete the ``Third Party Designee'' section and
retain for future reference. Completion of the ``Third Party Designee''
section is not required for individuals who are applying for an EIN
for international shipping on their own behalf.
    3. Clarify whether an individual can obtain an EIN for international
shipping if they are not opening a business.
Several commenters questioned whether they would be
providing the IRS with false information when applying for an EIN
for international shipping under the Sole Proprietor category if
they are not starting a business. In addition, one of these commenters
requested clarification on the tax ramifications of applying for
an EIN for international shipping. For purposes of registering or
filing in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for
international shipping], a resident of the United States must use
its EIN for international shipping. While it is not specifically stated
on the IRS Web site, an EIN for international shipping can be
obtained for government reporting purposes when a person does not own a
business. A U.S. company must use its EIN for international shipping
when registering in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration
(SED) for international shipping], and must use either its EIN for
international shipping or DUNS when filing. Use of the EIN for
international shipping in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration
(SED) for international shipping] is strictly for identification
purposes, and information entered into the AES [filing Shippers
Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping] is not
disclosed to the IRS.
    4. Clarify the filing requirement for an individual who rarely
exports. Several commenters questioned whether the frequency of their
shipments warranted the effort required to obtain an EIN for
international shipping. Regardless of shipping frequency,
any person (natural or legal) shipping goods to a foreign country
that requires filing of the EEI via the AES [filing Shippers
Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping] will need
to obtain an EIN for international shipping from the IRS.
    5. Clarify whether a passport, driver's license, or customs
assigned number can be used in place of the SSN. Several commenters
questioned why a passport, driver's license, or customs assigned number
cannot be used in lieu of the EIN for international shipping for
U.S. residents. In addition, several of these commenters suggested
that the Census Bureau amend the interim final rule to make SSNs
or passport numbers optional when filing the EEI.
    Passports have expiration dates and the numbers are subject to
change if the passports are not renewed timely. Allowing the use of a
passport number in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED)
for international shipping] makes it difficult for the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) to enforce control laws by introducing a
variable that is subject to change, thereby making it more difficult to
track and analyze historical shipping patterns. In addition, obtaining
a U.S. passport requires the payment of fees, and generally takes two
to six weeks. Moreover, passports are used for the specific purpose of
exiting and returning to the United States as a U.S. citizen. The
Census Bureau elected to replace the SSN with an EIN for international
shipping because the EIN for international shipping
can be obtained at the IRS Web site free of charge within 15 minutes.
The EIN for international shipping does not have an expiration date,
so it can be used indefinitely. In addition, a person can serve as
a third party designee and apply for an EIN for international
shipping on behalf of an individual.
    A driver's license number, like the SSN, is considered highly
sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that can directly
be used to identify an individual. The EIN for international shipping
is not as sensitive a form of PII as either a driver's license or SSN.
Moreover, because of varying license formats among the states and the
need to accommodate changes when persons move to different states,
the use of drivers' licenses would introduce more operational
complexity than EIN for international shippings.
    The USPPIs shall report an EIN for international shipping or
the DUNS in the USPPI identification field. The DUNS may only be
reported for businesses. If a foreign entity is the USPPI for filing
purposes, it shall report a DUNS, border crossing number, passport
number, or any number assigned
by the CBP. Thus, for the reasons stated above, the Census Bureau does
not adopt this suggestion.
    6. Amend the Interim Final Rule to postpone the implementation
date. Several commenters requested a further delay in the
implementation date of the interim final rule because of concerns that
there would be delays in the export process by having to obtain an EIN
for international shipping.
In addition, several of these commenters requested that the Census
Bureau conduct an impact analysis on exporters. Based on information
available from IRS's Web site, the approximately four months between
the publication of this interim final rule on August 5, 2009, and the
implementation date of December 3, 2009, was more than enough time to
obtain an EIN for international shipping; thus, no AES [filing Shippers
Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping] filer should experience
any delays in exporting as a result of the implementation of this final rule.
In addition, the Census Bureau has not received any information since
December 3, 2009, suggesting that exporters are experiencing (or have
experienced) delays in the export process due to the interim rule.
Findings from an impact analysis show that on a monthly basis, an
average of 3.8 percent of filers using the SSN are affected. For the
foregoing reasons, the Census Bureau does not adopt the suggestion that
it delay implementation of this final rule.
    7. Clarify the procedure for updating AES [filing Shippers Export
Declaration (SED) for international shipping] account information if a
filer was originally registered with an SSN. Several commenters raised
the concern that reregistering in the AES [filing Shippers Export
Declaration (SED) for international shipping] after obtaining an EIN
for international shipping would result in the loss of current AES
[filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping]
account information. However, if they are currently registered under
an SSN, AESdirect filers can complete theAutomated Transition Form
to migrate their account information,
currently stored under the SSN account, to a new EIN for international
shipping account. As of October 20, 2009, the Automated Transition
Form has been available on the AESdirect Web site. Those who file
directly into the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for
international shipping] must contact their CBP representative to
have their account manually transitioned.
    8. Clarify whether a company or individual can use its EIN for
international shipping as the USPPI identification number when filing
on behalf of the USPPI. Several commenters wanted to know if a company
or individual could use its EIN for international shipping
as the USPPI identification number when filing on behalf of the USPPI.
A company that is filing in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration
(SED) for international shipping] on behalf of an individual cannot
use its EIN for international shipping. When filing the EEI on behalf
of a USPPI, the EIN for international shipping of that USPPI must
be used as the identification number. The filer's EIN for international
shipping cannot be used as the USPPI identification number.
The use of another company or individual's EIN for international shipping
is prohibited.
    9. Clarify the use of an EIN for international shipping for
shipments to the U.S. Armed Services. Several commenters wanted to know
if an EIN for international shipping would be required
for shipments to the U.S. Armed Services. Filing an AES [filing
Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping] record is not
required for shipments to the U.S. Armed Services for their exclusive
use, whether the shipments are made commercially or through government
channels, including shipments to armed services exchange systems per
title 15, CFR, Part 30, FTR, section 30.39. This exemption does not
apply to articles on the United States Munitions List that are
controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or to
shipments that are not consigned to the U.S. Armed Services, regardless
of whether they may be for its ultimate and exclusive use. If an export
falls under this exemption, you are not required to obtain an EIN for
international shipping because filing an AES [filing Shippers Export
Declaration (SED) for international shipping] record is not required.
    10. Clarify the use of an EIN for international shipping for
shipments to employees of government agencies. Several commenters
wanted to know if government agencies or employees of these agencies
were required to obtain an EIN for international shipping
for shipping purposes. Filing an AES [filing Shippers Export
Declaration (SED) for international shipping] record is not required for the
following shipments: office furniture, office equipment, and office
supplies shipped to and for the exclusive use of U.S. government
offices, or household goods and personal property shipped to and for
the exclusive and personal use of U.S. government employees. These
shipments are exempt from filing the EEI per title 15, CFR, Part 30,
FTR, section 30.40. If an export falls under this exemption, you are
not required to obtain an EIN for international shipping because filing
an AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping] record is not
required.

Regulatory Changes

    To ensure the confidentiality of the USPPI's and the U.S.
authorized agent's personal information, and to comply with the Privacy
Act and OMB guidance, the Census Bureau is amending relevant sections
of the FTR to specify the requirements for the reporting of an EIN
for international shipping, or DUNS in place of a SSN for identification
purposes in the AES [filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping].
    The Census Bureau is amending the following sections of the FTR:
     Section 30.1(c) definition for Party ID type is revised to
eliminate the SSN.
     Sections 30.3(a) and 30.3(e) are revised to eliminate the
requirement of reporting the SSN in the AES [filing Shippers Export
Declaration (SED) for international shipping].
     Sections 30.6(a) and 30.6(b) are revised to eliminate the
SSN as an option for the USPPI and U.S. authorized agent identification
number.
    The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland
Security concur with the provisions contained in this Final Rule.

Rulemaking Requirements

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Census Bureau finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B)
to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment, as public
comment is impracticable and contrary to the public interest of
maintaining the security of personal information. To ensure the
confidentiality of the USPPI and the U.S. authorized agent's personal
information, and to comply with the Privacy Act, the Census Bureau is
amending appropriate sections of the FTR to eliminate the reporting of
the SSN by USPPIs and U.S. authorized agents. If this rule were delayed
to allow for notice and opportunity for public comment, USPPIs and U.S.
authorized agents would continue to be required to submit their SSN to
the Census Bureau if they do not have an EIN for international shipping
or DUNS. Therefore, in order to maintain the security of personal
information, and to comply with the Privacy Act, the Census Bureau
has determined that it will make this rule effective on March 24, 2010.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act are inapplicable. Therefore, a final
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and one has not been
prepared.

Executive Orders

    This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of
Executive Order 12866. It has been determined that this rule does not
contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined
under Executive Order 13132.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information required in this final rule has been
approved by the OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), title 44,
U.S.C. Chapter 35. This rule amends a collection of information subject
to the requirements of the PRA, which has been approved under OMB
control number 0607-0152. The reporting and recordkeeping burden for
this requirement is estimated at three total burden minutes per AES
[filing Shippers Export Declaration (SED) for international shipping]
filing. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for
failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays
a current, valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 30

    Economic statistics, Exports, Foreign trade, Reporting and
recordkeeping requirements.

0
Accordingly, as discussed above, the interim final rule amending Title
15 Code of Federal Regulations Part 30, which published at 74 FR 38914
on August 5, 2009, is adopted as a final rule without change.

 
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