Obama Signs Executive Order to Speed Up Import, Export Processing

Obama Signs Executive Order to Speed Up Import, Export Processing

WASHINGTON — President Obama yesterday issued an executive order aimed at making it easier and faster for U.S. shippers to import and export by streamlining cargo processes and requiring a transition to electronic paperwork by 2017.

Once the International Trade Data System is completed shippers will be able to transmit necessary documents electronically in minutes instead of waiting for days. The ITDS should also reduce the need for shippers to file duplicative paperwork. The deadline for completion is now December 2016.

“We see ITDS as being just as important as the (Automated Commercial Environment) because companies run into delays and incur costs primarily due to other government agencies, not Customs and Border Protection,” said American Association of Exporters and Importers President and CEO Marianne Rowden in a statement.

The implementation of ITDS is expected to reduce the processing time and costs of shipping more than 50 million containers and $3.8 trillion worth of goods annually. The White House noted that the development of the initiative was already underway, but the executive order created a deadline for completion and requires the 47 federal agencies involved to transition from paper-based to electronic data collection.

Obama signed the executive order before heading to Toluca, Mexico, to meet with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts to discuss trade.