President Signs Executive Order No. 13659 - "Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses"

On February 19, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order No. 13659, "Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses". The Executive Order mandates U.S. Government agencies to work together to streamline the import/export process for America's businesses and work together to complete the development of an electronic "single window" by December 2016.

In response to the Executive Order, the Department of Homeland Security and its component agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are taking the lead in working with their partner government agencies through a Border Interagency Executive Council that will oversee the implementation of the Executive Order's objectives. Particularly, CBP has been working for the past several years to develop the International Trade Data System (ITDS) and the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). Eventually, CBP and its partner agencies hope to create a "single window" where trade can submit data one time and Government can use it for multiple purposes.

The overall effort will continue in a phased approach with the first phase beginning in Spring 2014, with CBP, Food Safety Inspection Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency testing early technical capabilities for imports at select locations and with pre-identified industry partners. The second phase will begin in Spring 2015 and will include both imports and exports, as well as an expanded range of capabilities and industry users. By December 31, 2016, the U.S. Government will use ITDS as the primary means of receiving data and other relevant documentation required for the release of imported cargo and clearance of cargo for export.