When with friends, working in different industries, when talking about what happens around us, being in our early fifties and coming from a non digital background, we regularly come to the conclusion that we live in a world that is totally insane. And the digital tools do not help us but make things worse. Details?  Well, here's one.

I produce tauerville products in the US, mostly. The products are owned and shipped through my US company. When exporting goods with a value of more than 2500$, you need to file an EEI (electronic export information) to an AES (automated export system). Below 2500$ , there as exemption 30.37(a). The EEI filing needs to be done through AESdirect (here's the entry point . To do so, I needed to get an admin account through the US census bureau. And then an account for me as filler. And then I needed to go to "school" and do an online test (I failed twice) to get the permission to actually file the EEI. There, in AEs, we are talking about USPPI, SPPI, HTS numbers and and and. I am sort of proud that I managed to get it all done and actually file an EEI last year. Uff.

Now, AESdirect is available in ACE! And yes, your AESdirect is going to be discontinued. And yes, you need to apply for ACE again, lose your template and everything. We all need to register again for ACE and registration with ACE is about as complicated as it was for AESdirect. The whole transition is the because of the "President’s Executive Order to streamline the Import and Export process for America’s businesses issued on February 19, 2014," which might be a nice idea, but I wonder how many small businesses spend hours or days now just to get their electronic export information files done right and in good legal standing. Because: You need to go through a filer certification process again.

My status right now: I got an email with a link where I need to enter my "secret values". But I did not get secret values (yet) and maybe I'll get it through an administrator. If not: the email tells me to call an administrator for assistance, of course: without giving a phone number.

My English is ok, but sentences like "The ACE AESDirect application is referred to as Refactored AESDirect" make me go "what?"

This is not a shaming of the US census bureau. Here, in Europe, the same things happen. I have to file every year a survey telling the Swiss emperor how many people work with me and based on this information I have to pay some sort of pollution fees and and and.

OK. I will continue waiting for my "secret values" for starting my registration process in ACE, prepare to pay the VOC (volatile organic compounds) fee when importing alcohol containing goods into Switzerland, and will say a thank you prayer that after a good week at the Australian customs a sample shipment was finally released and Australian customs finally believed me that I do not ship vitamins, but perfume goods (over all, I was on the phone with Fedex for about 2 hours, and on the computer for about 2 more hours, writing highly official papers together for this shipment release).


Today's picture: me labelling in the factory when I am not filling in forms.

8 thoughts on “insanity”

  • Andy, I hope your secret values turn up soon. I've been looking for mine for years... ;-)

  • A maze indeed. I am always reminded of Franz Kafka. One of the reasons I love perfumes is that they are a pure escape into beauty and pleasurable sensation. Keeps me sane.

  • Staying sane is key, Peter!

  • Exactly, Persolaise
    I was so amused about the term secret values. Now I am super curious what they might be ... :-)

  • Having previously worked in export compliance, I know exactly what kind of hell you are going through. My sympathies to you. All this digital stuff does indeed make life more complicated, not less, and every few years you have to relearn it over again when they update it. So glad not to be doing that for a living any more. Bon Courage!!

  • hotlanta linda 21. January 2016 at 3:30

    As Ellen says at the end of every show opening monologue, ~~ Sometimes! All you can do is DANCE!! :-) Pick you fave K. C. and the
    Sunshine Band track!! HUGS!!! :-)

  • Andy I'm certain your "secret values" are stored in your bureau... so you'll have to find a bureaucrat to recover them. OK, lousy pun, but bureaucracies stand in the way of economic growth. One known antidote: LDDM or anything from Tauerville.

  • I wonder if that is why my favorite cleaning supplies company (Sonett from Germany) will no longer export to the bummed about that. These digital regulations certainly affect so many professions.
    I have piles and pile of papers from the health care industry which has gone insane with notifications and regulations. For example, every week I get a fax from a pharmaceutical regulatory office asking if I prescribed x, y, or z and I have to answer and send back the fax - sounds like it is very simple, but I do not have every prescription that I have written at the top of my head, so I have to check the patient's records to confirm. This really adds up in time and paper work, and it is just so redundant. Unfortunately, most of these "regulations" don't do anything for the health and welfare of society, but rather are another way to extract more fees out of us.


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