ACE: Open letter to NCBFAA from DHS

seal_aceThe Department of Homeland Security is optimistic about full ACE deployment by December 2016, and is appreciative of the assistance from NCBFAA and others in the trade in reaching that goal.

 

Open Letter to the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America

From Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security and Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield, Department of Health and Human Services

 

Just over two years ago, President Obama issued Executive Order 13659, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses.  This Executive Order set an ambitious deadline of December 2016 for deployment of the International Trade Data System (ITDS), otherwise known as the “Single Window.”

As many of you are well aware, efforts to develop the ITDS were underway for decades but were mired in the challenges unfortunately all too common in projects of such size and complexity.  It is in this context that the progress made in just the last two years is all the more impressive.  Business users are currently filing approximately 92% of entry summary requirements in the Single Window and Cargo Release volumes have soared from low 40% figures to a record high of 70% in just the last several weeks.  The numbers reflect a significant uptick in adoption by many of the largest filers and active testing and engagement from thousands of smaller businesses.

We want to share our appreciation for the incredible amount of work that has gone into this effort to-date and the commitment demonstrated by government agencies and private sector partners alike.  The record of collaboration and engaged dialogue among the diverse group of public and private sector stakeholders is impressive.  Associations like the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) have played a vital role in educating their members about the new system and encouraging participation in pilots and other key activities. As important, NCBFAA and other industry users have not only identified problems, but worked collaboratively with government agencies to develop and rapidly implement effective solutions.  Modifications to mandatory deadlines and added flexibilities for certain data elements are two recent examples of this partnership.  It is clear that the engagement and expertise from the filers who will ultimately rely on the system remain one of the most critical elements of success.

Deploying an effective ITDS remains a top priority for the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and for many other U.S. agencies and the Administration on a whole.  Looking forward, successful implementation of the President’s Executive Order will be judged by not only the December 2016 delivery of a fully operational Single Window, but by the extent to which that system serves as a platform of continued collaboration between government agencies and business in the future.  Thank you again to the NCBFAA and its membership and to the range of other business advisory groups that continue to support this important modernization effort.

More information about ITDS, including technical documentation, a list of upcoming outreach events, and guidance on how to participate in an ITDS pilot are available at http://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated.

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