Canadian Shipper


US “Executive order” to speed up single window initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C.–President Obama’s February 19 signing of an Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses is expected to cut processing and approval times from days to minutes for small businesses that export American-made goods and services by completing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.

The ITDS will allow businesses to electronically transmit, through a “single-window,” the data required by the U.S. Government to import or export cargo. This new electronic system aims to speed up the shipment of American-made goods overseas, eliminate often duplicative and burdensome paperwork, and make  government more efficient, said a release.

At present, businesses must submit data to multiple agencies through various channels, often in paper form. The ITDS will save businesses time and money, and dramatically reduce the number of forms a business has to fill out to import or export.

Though the development of the ITDS has been underway for some time, the Order establishes a deadline for completion, requires relevant agencies to transition from paper-based to electronic data collection, and calls for enhanced transparency by requiring public posting of implementation plans and schedules.

The new Executive Order also charges the government to partner with non-government stakeholders to build more efficient business processes and improve border management policies.

A newly expanded group, the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC) will be responsible for improving coordination among the dozens of agencies with import and export requirements and with outside stakeholders. The BIEC is charged with cutting red tape and reducing supply chain inefficiencies, while managing the risks presented by goods flowing in and out of the United States.

The ITDS Board of Directors will continue to oversee the development of the ITDS automated capabilities, said the release.