President Obama has signed an Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses. The move, expected to especially benefit small and medium-sized businesses, calls for the completion of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.
According to the Executive Order’s Fact Sheet, the ITDS, on which work has been underway for several years, will enable “businesses to transmit, through an electronic ‘single-window,’ the data required by the the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.” Currently, the trade must submit data — most often in paper format — to at least 47 participating government agencies (PGAs) having possibly having jurisdiction over cargo. Soon, all “paperwork” will be submitted electronically, “reducing time for clearing goods from many days to, in some cases, seconds.”
The ITDS initiative is a vital part of CBP’s ongoing Trade Transformation initiative, the agency’s approach to modernizing trade.