Tips on How to Resolve AES Response Messages

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May 18, 2022

Tips on How to Resolve AES Response Messages

Fatal Error Screen - Large

When a shipment is filed to the AES, a system response message is generated and indicates whether the shipment has been accepted or rejected.  If the shipment is accepted, the AES filer receives an Internal Transaction Number (ITN) as confirmation.  Though the shipment is accepted, the filer may still receive a Verify Message, Compliance Alert, Informational Message or Warning Message along with their ITN.  However, if the shipment is rejected, a Fatal Error notification is received and must be corrected to receive a valid ITN. 

To help you take the appropriate action for the different AES Response Messages, here are some tips on how to address the most frequent messages that were generated in AES for this month.

Response Code: 303

Narrative:    Sold En Route Indicator Must be Y or N

Severity:      Fatal

Reason:       The Party Type is identified as Ultimate Consignee and the Sold En Route Indicator is not reported as Yes or No.

Resolution: The Ultimate Consignee information must be reported on an EEI including a valid Sold En Route Indicator. If the Ultimate Consignee is known and reported, set the Sold En Route Indicator to No. If the cargo is to be Sold En Route and the ultimate consignee is not known at the time of export, then set the Sold En Route Indicator to Yes.

Verify the Ultimate Consignee and the Sold En Route Indicator, correct the shipment and resubmit.

Response Code: 504

Narrative:     License Code Unknown

Severity:       Fatal

Reason:        The License Code reported is not valid in AES.

Resolution:  The License Code/License Exemption Code must be reported on each EEI. Valid License Codes reportable in AES can be found in Appendix F – License and License Exemption Type Codes and Reporting Guidelines.

Verify the License Code/License Exemption Code, correct the shipment and resubmit.

AES Training Resources


For a complete list of Fatal Error Response Codes, their reasons, and resolutions, see Appendix A – Commodity Filing Response Messages.

It is important that AES filers correct Fatal Errors as soon as they are received in order to comply with the Foreign Trade Regulations. These errors must be corrected prior to export for shipments filed predeparture and as soon as possible for shipments filed postdeparture but not later than five calendar days after departure.

For further information or questions, contact the U.S. Census Bureau's Trade Data Collection Branch.

Telephone: (800) 549-0595, select option 1 for AES




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