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United States

Consolidation of Import and Export Systems (US0064)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United States Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: The Department of Homeland Security

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government

IRM Review

IRM Report: United States End-of-Term IRM Report 2015-2017, United States Mid-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The Administration will launch a consolidated single-window platform to streamline and speed import and export transactions, increasing economic efficiencies and effectiveness. Using the single window, industry trading partners will be able to file required information only once, replacing the current system of manual, paper-based submissions made multiple times to multiple agencies. The Department of Homeland Security is leading development and implementation of the single window according to global standards and best practices designed to facilitate the exchange of information across government systems, including with businesses and foreign governments.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 12. Single Window Platform for Imports and Exports

Commitment Text:

Consolidate Import and Export Systems to Promote the Economic Competitiveness of U.S. Businesses

The Administration will launch a consolidated single-window platform to streamline and speed import and export transactions, increasing economic efficiencies and effectiveness. Using the single window, industry trading partners will be able to file required information only once, replacing the current system of manual, paper-based submissions made multiple times to multiple agencies. The Department of Homeland Security is leading development and implementation of the single window according to global standards and best practices designed to facilitate the exchange of information across government systems, including with businesses and foreign governments.

Responsible institutions: Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along with other Federal agencies with authorities at U.S. borders

Supporting institutions: Civil society stakeholders, including industry, customs brokers, importers, software vendors, and others

Start Date: Not Specified ....... End Date: Not Specified

Commitment Aim

Prior to the action plan, there were 47 government agencies and more than 200 forms involved in the customs process. [144] Moreover, shippers often had to file the same information for different agencies, sometimes in paper form. This commitment aimed to develop a digital, single-window platform for import and export transactions to streamline and accelerate the process of trading goods. The commitment traced its roots to Presidential Executive Order 13659 of 19 February 2014, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Business. [145] The previous action plan also included this commitment.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

The government made substantial progress on this commitment by the midterm. The US single import/export window represents “the primary system through which the trade community reports imports and exports and the government determines admissibility.” [146] The window is referred to as the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) administers it. To facilitate the transition to the ACE, the CBP established a series of transition deadlines. These “mandatory use dates” indicated the date by which agencies were expected to transition away from CBP legacy systems and execute different trade-filing activities via the ACE. Two such dates occurred during the midterm evaluation period (31 March 2016 and 28 May 2016). [147]

End of term: Substantial

Two additional mandatory use dates passed during the end-of-term evaluation period. As described on the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) website, these include the following:

  • 23 July 2016: Mandatory use of Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) for filing electronic entries and corresponding entry summaries for remaining entry types (02, 07, 12, 21, 22, 31, 32, 34, 38). [148]
  • 27 August 2016: Mandatory use of ACE for filing electronic protests. [149]

Per the ACE website, [150] several types of filings have mandatory use deadlines that will occur beyond the period of the action plan (16 September 2017, 9 December 2017, and 24 February 2018). While the CBP has made substantial progress toward meeting this commitment, it remains incomplete.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

Public Accountability: Did Not Change

This commitment had an important goal. However, it represented an e-government initiative, rather than an explicit effort to improve access to government-held information, civic participation, or public accountability. As a result, this commitment was not relevant to OGP values and did not open government.

Carried Forward?

At the time of writing, the US government had not published its fourth national action plan. This commitment should not be carried forward, given its unclear relevance for open government and nearly completed state.

[144] John Costanzo, “Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the Single Window Initiative – Are You Ready?” Industry Week, 27 October 2016, http://www.industryweek.com/trade/automated-commercial-environment-ace-and-single-window-initiative-are-you-ready, consulted 2 January 2017.

[145] “Executive Order — Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses,” White House, 19 February 2017, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/19/executive-order-streamlining-exportimport-process-america-s-businesses, consulted 3 October 2017.

[146] “ACE and Automated Systems,” US Customs and Border Protection, https://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated, consulted 10 September 2017.

[147] US Customs and Border Protection, Automated Commercial Environment: Third and Fourth Quarters, Fiscal Year 2016 Report to Congress, 11 April 2017, 5, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CBP%20-%20Automated%20Commercial%20Environment%20-%20FY%202016%2C%20Third%20and%20Fourth%20Quarters_0.pdf, consulted 3 October 2017.

[148] “July 23rd Information Notice, Notice to Trade: ACE Capabilities Deployed and Mandated on 7/23/16,” US Customs and Border Protection, 21 July 2016, https://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/features/quota-ace, consulted 3 October 2017. For confirmation that the date was met, see US Customs and Border Protection, Automated Commercial Environment: Third and Fourth Quarters, Fiscal Year 2016 Report to Congress, 11 April 2017, 5, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CBP%20-%20Automated%20Commercial%20Environment%20-%20FY%202016%2C%20Third%20and%20Fourth%20Quarters_0.pdf, consulted 3 October 2017.

[149] “,” US Customs and Border Protection, 8 August 2017, previously available at: https://apps.cbp.gov/csms/viewmssg.asp?Recid=22032&page=&srch_argv=&srchtype=&btype=&sortby=&sby=, consulted 3 October 2017. For confirmation that the date was met, see US Customs and Border Protection, Automated Commercial Environment: Third and Fourth Quarters, Fiscal Year 2016 Report to Congress, 11 April 2017, 5, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CBP%20-%20Automated%20Commercial%20Environment%20-%20FY%202016%2C%20Third%20and%20Fourth%20Quarters_0.pdf, consulted 3 October 2017.

[150] “ACE Transaction Details,” US Customs and Border Patrol, https://www.cbp.gov/trade/automated/ace-transaction-details, last updated 23 August 2017, consulted 3 October 2017.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership