WASHINGTON, D.C.–The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are working with dozens of other U.S. departments and independent agencies to build and deliver a much awaited national “Single Window” called the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.
ITDS is intended to overcome the inefficiencies often generated by distinct (and at times overlapping or inconsistent) standards for exports and imports of as many as 47 agencies that impact the U.S. supply chain network, the departments say.
Once completed, the ITDS will speed up the processing of the trillions of dollars-worth of goods that cross U.S. borders each year (more than $5 trillion in 2013) by allowing electronic communication among agencies and between the public and private sector. Businesses that must currently transmit paper forms via manual processes will be able to fulfill all requirements through the submission of a single, standardized set of electronic data.
As part of this government-wide modernization effort, DHS and other agencies will transition from managing whole documents and toward collecting and sharing discrete pieces of data that can be tagged and presented in many useful ways. DHS is shifting from a heavy reliance on distinct systems, standards, and operational processes and toward consistency in the way in which it creates, delivers, and uses information. DHS and other U.S. agencies are committed to providing a safe and secure digital environment to protect privacy and keep sensitive commercial information out of the wrong hands.
DHS is also encouraging trading partners to move towards full use of the WCO Data Model. The WCO Data Model is a set of combined data requirements that are updated on a regular basis to meet the procedural and legal needs of cross-border regulatory agencies. It includes information related to the context, content, structures, and technical solutions for information exchange, providing a common goal for trading partners to converge towards.
Beginning December 17, DHS will post a series of brief updates on the work to-date, anticipated next steps, and challenges likely to be encountered as the U.S. builds the Single Window and works to modernize associated policies and processes. The postings can be accessed at https://medium.com/homeland-security.
Julia Kuzeljevich is Editor of Canadian Shipper. She has been writing about transportation and logistics issues since 1999. All posts by Julia Kuzeljevich