May 06, 2014 | Industry Insights

Trade Data System Set for 2016 Implementation

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Trade Data System Set for 2016 Implementation Designed to Streamline Export/Import Process

By executive order, President Obama back in February set December 31, 2016 as the deadline for federal agencies to use the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a system that will speed up the time necessary for processing and approving the regulatory documentation for businesses that export American-made goods. Right now, before businesses can clear their goods for import or export, they have to submit documents, often on paper, to a variety of federal agencies. The ITDS would let businesses submit all the required data electronically and all in one place. The system would then distribute the data to the agencies that need it. Forty-eight agencies, led by Customs and Border Protection, must work together to implement the system, required under the SAFE Port Act of 2006.

“Trade is critical to the nation’s prosperity – fueling economic growth, supporting good jobs at home, raising living standards, and helping Americans provide for their families with affordable goods and services,” the executive order stated.

According to the White House, once ITDS is completely up and running, the time and expense for businesses to move the more than 50 million containers and $3.8 trillion worth of goods that cross our borders each year will be dramatically reduced. The system’s objective is speed up the shipment of American-made goods overseas, eliminate often duplicative and burdensome paperwork, and make government more efficient.

Logistics service providers are positive about this move in the right direction. In fact, major logistics service providers, such as UPS and FedEx, have publically applauded the adoption of ITDS, and the executive order for implementation. ”This executive order will be beneficial to improving our supply chain efficiency and moving goods and services that cross our borders,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “This change will be particularly meaningful to our small and medium-sized customers that depend on global trade to grow their businesses and reach the 95 percent of consumers that live outside U.S. borders.”

“These latest steps by the United States will cut bureaucracy and time-consuming paperwork for our customers, especially the small and medium businesses,” said FedEx Express COO and President, International Michael Ducker. “We look forward to further trade facilitation efforts now in the process of being negotiated with key U.S. trading partners.”

The ITDC has been a long time in the making and progress has been made with a document imaging system and PGA (Participating Government Agency) Message Set pilots underway, according to a recent article in Global Trade. The PGA Message Set provides the capability to collect data elements required by other agencies for processing imports through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI). It will be used as part of entry and entry summary filings, and essentially adds data elements now collected on paper to those filings. Similarly, additional data elements are being added to the export declaration filed through AES and will also be added to the inbound and outbound manifest filings. The PGA Message Set automates the collection of information required by ITDS agencies, and will replace the more than one hundred forms currently required by federal agencies during the importation process.

In addition, a couple of agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food Safety & Inspection Service for some products are already on board with several additional agencies including the Federal Communications Commission and the National Fisheries Service scheduled to come on line later this year.

Of course, it’s critical that all federal agencies working with Customs along with the trade community are involved in the process in order for the ITDS to work. With ITDS, the objective is to get everyone online and communicating through a single window. Roanoke Trade will continue to keep you updated on this important issue for the logistics service provider industry as progress continues to be made on the ITDS.

Sources: Global Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Electronics Purchasing Strategies,

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