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Choosing the Ultimate Consignee Type

Wed Jul 30 2014
Heather Hrytsyshyn
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You probably know that identifying the ultimate consignee in the Automated Export System (AES) is mandatory. However, did you realize that you need to select an ultimate consignee type? There are four types: direct consumer, government entity, reseller and other/unknown.

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Let’s dive into the details of each type:

  1. Direct Consumer is a non-government institution, enterprise, or company that will consume or use the exported good as a consumable, for its own internal processes, as an input to the production of another good or as machinery or equipment that is part of a manufacturing process or a provision of services and will not resell or distribute the good.
  2. Government Entity is a government-owned or government-controlled agency, institution, enterprise, or company.
  3. Reseller is a non-government reseller, retailer, wholesaler, distributor, distribution center or trading company.
  4. Other/Unknown is an entity that is not a Direct Consumer, Government Entity or Reseller, as defined above, or whose ultimate consignee type is not known at the time of export.

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Helpful tips to consider:

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  • If the form of the good (commodity) exported is changed or consumed by the ultimate consignee, the type would be direct consumer.
  • If you chose other/unknown and later determine the ultimate consignee type changed, you may update the type in the AES.

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So which type do you choose?

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Identifying the proper ultimate consignee is pretty simple. Just remember to focus on the primary business function of the ultimate consignee. If more than one type applies, choose the type that applies most often. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

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Example 1: If you export printers to a company in Scotland and they use the printers in their office, what ultimate consignee type do you choose?

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Drum roll please… Direct Consumer.

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The Reason: The ultimate consignee is using the printer for its own consumption.

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Example 2: If you export paintings to an art distributor in France, what ultimate consignee type do you choose?

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Drum roll please…Reseller

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The Reason: The ultimate consignee is a distributor.

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For more information on ultimate consignee type, refer to Section 30.6(a)(28) in the Foreign Trade Regulations. If you still have questions, contact the Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch at 1-800-549-0595, Option #3.

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