What is ITDS and why will it help importers and exporters beginning in 2017?

President Obama signed an Executive Order mandating the use of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 31, 2016.  The ITDS creates capabilities that will allow businesses to transmit, through an electronic “single-window,” the data required by the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.

Today, Customs brokers submit information for import entries electronically to Customs.  Some agencies such as FDA are connected to CBP, but for many agencies, the only way to secure a release of cargo from their jurisdiction is to either a) submit through a separate electronic portal [Fish & Wildlife did this] or to submit a paper form [EPA requires this].

ITDS LogoWhen there is a deviation from an all electronic format, the two greatest risks are:

  1. The paper form gets lost in transit, causing delays to the release of the cargo for import (or export) and causing financial hardship, missed sailings or both.
  2. The releases are not properly received for all the agencies involved and cargo is delivered or shipped leading to penalties or in the most extreme cases, a demand for the return of the cargo.

As envisioned by the trade, ITDS is the means to move past those problems.  On the government side, a newly expanded group, the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC), will be responsible for improving coordination among the dozens of agencies with import and export requirements and with outside stakeholders.  The BIEC is charged with cutting red tape and reducing supply chain inefficiencies, while managing the risks presented by goods flowing in and out of the United States.

The completion and deployment of ITDS will save money for American importers and exporters, and ultimately consumers, by reducing the amount of time required to clear or ship goods and increasing velocity through the supply chain, getting goods to market more quickly.

At Nelson International, we pay close attention to the agencies involved with our customers’ cargo besides CBP and have processes to insure that their goods are held safely and legally until it is fully released by all relevant agencies.  If you’ve had a problem with improperly released cargo in the past, contact us to find out how we can help you take steps to prevent this from happening in the future.