Executive Order Designed to Streamline Export/Import Process for U.S. Businesses

On Feb. 19, President Obama signed an executive order designed to reduce processing and approval times for businesses that export or import products by completing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.

A White House-issued fact sheet summarizing the executive order includes the following details on the ITDS:

The Executive Order mandates the completion of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016. The ITDS creates capabilities that will allow businesses to transmit, through an electronic “single-window,” the data required by the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.

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.

The ITDS will allow more efficient government decision-making associated with goods arriving at the border, reducing the time for clearing goods from many days to, in some cases, seconds. This will dramatically speed the flow of legitimate commerce across our borders.

Coordinated and automated messaging about these decisions will increase predictability for the private sector and allow them to plan supply chain movements with greater confidence and less cost.

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 full text of the executive order is also available online.