Agencies seek to standardize trade data

Representatives from six federal agencies will meet with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and industry executives next month to plan for data standardization and interoperability in the updated U.S. trade data processing system, CBP officials have said.

The agencies are preparing to integrate the collection and sharing of international trade data across government through CBP’s $3 billion Automated Commercial Environment. The environment has been in development since 2001 to replace  paperwork processing with electronic data.

Agency officials from the Food Safety and Inspection Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will meet with CBP representatives and industry executives in the semiannual Trade Support Network plenary session, the CBP said in a news release. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service also will participate.

The network, composed of about 250 industry executives, has been meeting twice a year for 14 years to provide input into the design of the international trade data systems.

The CBP is working with the federal agencies to ensure that the commercial environment provides a single window for the trade community to submit data to the government. The agencies are aiming to develop a standard data set, with a consolidated list of data elements, to help achieve that goal.

Importers are now required to submit information to several federal agencies, in both paper and electronic formats, which has been criticized as time-consuming and costly. After the data requirements are standardized and integrated, and capable of being processed electronically, it should reduce costs and improve efficiency, the CBP said.
 

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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