In a signing ceremony aboard Air Force One on February 19, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order setting a deadline of December 2016 for full implementation of the International Trade Data System (ITDS). The system, mandated by the SAFE Port Act of 2006, provides a one-stop single window channel to submit data to dozens of government agencies that regulate the import and export of goods to and from the U.S. The modernized system will improve the productivity between agencies and companies engaged in trade.
Once fully implemented, ITDS is expected to dramatically decrease the time and costs associated with achieving compliance with the multitude of agencies that regulate international trade within the US. Additionally, ITDS will assist the U.S. government to make decisions more quickly and effectively about goods arriving at ports of entry, which in turn will speed the flow of trade across borders. A White House fact sheet providing an overview of the Executive Order explains, “This new electronic system will speed up the shipment of American-made goods overseas, eliminate often duplicative and burdensome paperwork, and make our government more efficient.”
The Executive Order also expands the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC) which provides improved cooperation between government and non-government stakeholders. The ITDS has frequently suffered from red tape and divergences between multiple agencies within the federal government, each with its own mandates and policies. The BIEC’s goal is to provide a single point of access to streamline import and export functions, which will smooth trade functions for small businesses and foster new job creation.
The Executive Order—Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses is available online. Updates to come soon.