President Obama’s February 19 Executive Order outlines an initiative aimed at reducing supply chain barriers by simplifying filing processes and eliminating duplicative requirements in order to allow companies to concentrate on managing their businesses.
The Order includes two intimately related elements:
- The creation of a “single window,” dubbed the International Trade Data System (ITDS), where companies can submit required import and export documentation to the various agencies that play a part in regulating the transfer of goods across U.S. borders.
- Establishment of a Border Interagency Executive Council to continually develop and reassess policies and procedures aimed at further coordinating the agencies involved in trade regulation in order to facilitate the transition to the ITDS.
The goal is to have the ITDS up and running by the end of 2016. Although it is too soon to make any substantive changes to your company’s procedures you can best prepare your company by learning about the changes and preparing for the transition. Keep in mind that more significant changes are on the horizon. Just like the elements of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative that began rolling out in stages this past October, the ITDS roll out will create a relatively uncertain time of transition during which the danger of inadvertent compliance errors caused by new and unfamiliar procedures will be heightened.
Consequently, you should plan to allocate additional time and resources in 2016 to ensure that the reforms do not catch you off guard and lead to costly penalties imposed by the government for noncompliance. And when the dust settles, the “single window” approach has the potential to greatly improve the ease with which companies satisfy their compliance obligations.