Obama sets 2016 deadline for agencies to use central clearinghouse for exporting.
After promising a “year of action” in his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama last week signed an executive order mandating the completion of a web-based platform called the International Trade Data System (ITDS). The platform is expected to cut through much of the red tape associated with launching export/import operations, as it would allow businesses to submit documentation to various federal agencies by way of a single portal, or single window.
The order states: “To ensure that our nation is well-positioned to compete in an open, fair, and growing world economy, the federal government must increase efforts to improve the technologies, policies, and other controls governing the movement of goods across our national borders.”
Currently, the export/import process can require businesses submit information to multiple agencies and fill out (both online and paper) forms each time. The process is seen as particularly burdensome to small businesses that don't typically have the resources to throw at dealing with regulatory compliance.
The ITDS would let them submit all the required data electronically and all in one place. The system would then distribute the data to the agencies that need it. Obama's executive order charges the board of directors for ITDS, which consists of representatives from the agencies, with choosing a standard set of data elements for the system to collect and share.
In a recent report to Congress, the ITDS board noted various problems funding the effort to date. “In the past, competing priorities have resulted in delays in implementing ITDS priorities and ITDS funds being redirected for other uses,” the board said.