Trade Through a Single Window

By: Luis Torres, Law Clerk
Date: 06/16/2016

On February 19, 2014 President Obama signed executive order 13659. This executive order titled “Streamlining the Export/Import Process for American Businesses” was implemented to modernize and simplify the way executive governments and agencies interact with traders. As described in section 1 of the executive order “It is the policy of the United States to promote commerce through the effective implementation of an ambitious 21st century trade agenda and vigorous enforcement of our Nation’s laws relating to trade, security, public health and safety, the environment, and natural resources.”

In furtherance of this policy of modernizing and simplifying trade, the Bureau of Census (Census Bureau) is proposing to amend its regulations to reflect new export reporting requirements related to the implementation of the International Trade Data System (ITDS).1 The ITDS, through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), will allow businesses to submit import/export data required by CBP and its Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) through the “Single Window” concept. The Single Window will permit the relevant government departments and agencies to access the trade information electronically, thus greatly simplifying the import/export process and increasing transparency.

The proposed changes include the addition of two new data elements, “original ITN” and a “used electronics indicator” to the Automated Export System (AES).1 In order to accomplish the goals of ITDS, the AES has been incorporated into ACE, the Single Window, which is operated by CBP for the submission and processing of trade information. The “original ITN” data element can now be selected when a shipment that had been previously filed is replaced or divided and for which additional shipments must be filed. This is meant to assist the export trade community and enforcement agencies in identifying that a filer has followed and completed the mandatory filing requirements for the original shipment and any other additional shipments. The “used electronics indicator” is being added to improve information on trade flows regarding used electronics in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Additional proposed changes include a revision of the definition of “AES applicant” in section 30.1(c) and the removal of the text “applies to the Census Bureau for authorization” and “or its related applications” because the registration will no longer go through the Census Bureau. Rather, the registration will be submitted to CBP through its web site or through ACE and will be processed by CBP. The proposed rule also plans to revise the definition of “AES Direct” to clarify the appropriate parties than can transmit EEI through the AES. It also clarifies that all regulatory requirements pertaining to AES also apply to AES Direct, and eliminates the URL. Some other definitions that are impacted by the proposed rule are “AES participant application (APA),” “Annotation,” “Automated Commercial environment (ACE),” “Automated Export System (AES),” “Bill of Lading (BL),” “Container,” “Domestic Exports,” “Foreign Exports,” “Proof of Filing citation,” “Reexport,” among others.

Having a single window will reduce, or perhaps even eliminate, the collection of redundant information by participating federal agencies. Interested parties may submit comments regarding this proposed rule within 60 days of the date of publication (March 9, 2016) by one of the following methods:

  • Please direct all written comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking to the
    Chief, International Trade Management Division, U. S. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233– 6010
  • You may also submit comments, identified by RIN number 0607–AA55, to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: