Barack Obama photo

Executive Order 13659—Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses

February 19, 2014

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to reduce supply chain barriers to commerce while continuing to protect our national security, public health and safety, the environment, and natural resources, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The United States is the world's largest economy and the largest trading Nation. Trade is critical to the Nation's prosperity—fueling economic growth, supporting good jobs at home, raising living standards, and helping Americans provide for their families with affordable goods and services. 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 support of these goals, and to ensure that our Nation is well-positioned to compete in an open, fair, and growing world economy, the Federal Government must increase efforts to improve the technologies, policies, and other controls governing the movement of goods across our national borders.

In particular, we must increase efforts to complete the development of efficient and cost-effective trade processing infrastructure, such as the International Trade Data System (ITDS), to modernize and simplify the way that executive departments and agencies (agencies) interact with traders. We must also improve the broader trade environment through the development of innovative policies and operational processes that promote effective application of regulatory controls, collaborative arrangements with stakeholders, and a reduction of unnecessary procedural requirements that add costs to both agencies and industry and undermine our Nation's economic competitiveness. By demonstrating our commitment to utilizing technology, coordinating government processes, fulfilling international obligations, and embracing innovative approaches to promote new opportunities for trade facilitation in the 21st century, we can lead by example and partner with other countries willing to adopt similar programs. This will encourage compliance with applicable laws and, more broadly, result in a more prosperous, safe, secure, and sustainable trading environment for all.

Sec. 2. Policy Coordination. Policy coordination, guidance, dispute resolution, and periodic reviews for the functions and programs set forth in this order shall be provided through the interagency process established in Presidential Policy Directive-1 of February 13, 2009 (Organization of the National Security Council System), or any successor.

Sec. 3. International Trade Data System. The ITDS, as described in section 405 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (the "SAFE Port Act") (Public Law 109-347), is an electronic information exchange capability, or "single window," through which businesses will transmit data required by participating agencies for the importation or exportation of cargo. To enhance Federal coordination associated with the development of the ITDS and to provide necessary transparency to businesses, agencies, and other potential users:

(a) by December 31, 2016, participating agencies shall have capabilities, agreements, and other requirements in place to utilize the ITDS and supporting systems, such as the Automated Commercial Environment, as the primary means of receiving from users the standard set of data and other relevant documentation (exclusive of applications for permits, licenses, or certifications) required for the release of imported cargo and clearance of cargo for export;

(b) by December 31, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security shall confirm to the Secretary of the Treasury and the ITDS Board of Directors (Board), which serves as the Interagency Steering Committee established under section 405 of the SAFE Port Act, that the ITDS has the operational capabilities to enable users to:

(i) transmit a harmonized set of import and export data elements, to be collected, stored, and shared, via a secure single window, to fulfill U.S. Government requirements for the release and clearance of goods; and

(ii) transition from paper-based requirements and procedures to faster and more cost-effective electronic submissions to, and communications with, agencies;

(c) the Board shall, in consultation with ITDS participating agencies, define the standard set of data elements to be collected, stored, and shared in the ITDS; and continue to periodically review those data elements in order to update the standard set of data elements, as necessary;

(d) the Board shall continue to assist the Secretary of the Treasury in overseeing the implementation of, and participation in, the ITDS, including the establishment of the ITDS capabilities and requirements associated with the collection from users and distribution to relevant agencies of standard electronic import and export data; and

(e) the Board shall make publicly available a timeline outlining the development and delivery of the secure ITDS capabilities, as well as agency implementation plans and schedules. Agencies shall take such steps as are necessary to meet the timeline, including timely completion of all appropriate agreements, including memoranda of understanding, and other required documents that establish procedures and guidelines for the secure exchange and safeguarding of data among agencies and, as appropriate, with other Federal Government entities.

Sec. 4. Establishment of the Border Interagency Executive Council. (a) There is established the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC), an interagency working group to be chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security or a senior-level designee from the Department. The BIEC shall also have a Vice Chair, selected every 2 years from among the members of the BIEC by a process determined by the members. The BIEC shall develop policies and processes to enhance coordination across customs, transport security, health and safety, sanitary, conservation, trade, and phytosanitary agencies with border management authorities and responsibilities to measurably improve supply chain processes and improve identification of illicit shipments.

(b) The Department of Homeland Security shall provide funding and administrative support for the BIEC, to the extent permitted by law.

(c) In addition to the Chair and Vice Chair, the BIEC shall include designated senior-level representatives from agencies that provide approval before goods can be imported and exported, including the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Transportation, and Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies with border management interests or authorities, as determined by the Chair and Vice Chair. The BIEC shall also include appropriate representatives from the Executive Office of the President.

Sec. 5. Functions of the BIEC. The BIEC shall:

(a) develop common risk management principles and methods to inform agency operations associated with the review and release of cargo at the border and encourage compliance with applicable law;

(b) develop policies and processes to orchestrate, improve, and accelerate agency review of electronic trade data transmitted through relevant systems and provide coordinated and streamlined responses back to users to facilitate trade and support and advance compliance with applicable laws and international agreements, including (in coordination with, and as recommendations to, the Board) policies and processes designed to assist the Secretary of the Treasury, as appropriate, with activities related to the ITDS;

(c) identify opportunities to streamline Federal Government systems and reduce costs through the elimination of redundant capabilities or through enhanced utilization of the Automated Commercial Environment capabilities as a means of improving supply chain management processes;

(d) assess, in collaboration with the Board, the business need, feasibility, and potential benefits of developing or encouraging the private-sector development of web-based interfaces to electronic data systems, including the ITDS, for individuals and small businesses;

(e) engage with and consider the advice of industry and other relevant stakeholders regarding opportunities to improve supply chain management processes, with the goal of promoting economic competitiveness through enhanced trade facilitation and enforcement;

(f) encourage other countries to develop similar single window systems to facilitate the sharing of relevant data, as appropriate, across governmental systems and with trading partners; and

(g) assess, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, opportunities to facilitate electronic payment of duties, taxes, fees, and charges due at importation. The Federal Government endorses electronic payment of duties, taxes, fees, and charges due at importation, and currently allows payment electronically through various systems.

Sec. 6. Regulatory Review. To support the Federal Government's rapid development of the ITDS that, to the greatest extent possible, relies upon the collection, exchange, and processing of electronic data, each agency that utilizes the ITDS shall:

(a) as part of the retrospective review report due to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on July 14, 2014, pursuant to Executive Order 13610 of May 10, 2012 (Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens), unless directed otherwise through subsequent guidance from OIRA, determine whether any regulations should be modified to achieve the requirements set forth in this order; and

(b) promptly initiate rulemaking proceedings to implement necessary regulatory modifications identified pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 7. Reports. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this order, agencies with border management interests or authorities shall report to the Board on their anticipated use of international standards for product classification and identification.

(b) By July 1, 2014, and every year thereafter until July 2016, the BIEC, in consultation with the Board, shall provide to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, a report on the implementation of section 5 of this order.

Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law, and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply with the requirements of this order.


The White House,

February 19, 2014.

NOTE: This Executive order was published in the Federal Register on February 25.

Barack Obama, Executive Order 13659—Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives