By Anthony Capkun
February 19, 2014 – The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) in the States welcomed President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. will accelerate the implementation of a system to facilitate international trade in goods that meet American safety, efficiency and environmental standards: the Single Window.
“This is a major development for manufacturers who are involved in both importing and exporting,” said NEMA president and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, a member of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) on Supply Chain Competitiveness. “In our work with the supply chain FAC, we’ve seen examples from other countries that have implemented similar concepts, and it really makes a difference.”
The Single Window will be administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an arm of the Department of Homeland Security. Through an Executive Order, Obama set a 2016 target date for full implementation of CBP’s International Trade Data System (ITDS).
“The electro-industry welcomes the announcement of an accelerated Single Window for trade,” affirms Wayne J. Edwards, vice-president, sustainability and electrical safety with Electro-Federation Canada. “The rapidly expanding world is also populated by more complexities in reporting requirements, product regulations as well as codes and standards. The greater degree of harmonization we can achieve in products and regulations makes manufactures, distributors and citizens as a whole the winners.”
In one example, Gaddis says a Singapore national trade authority’s TradeNet system reduced the time it takes to process trading documents from several days to several minutes.
According to CBP, the ITDS represents collaboration by 47 agencies to develop an automated commercial environment that will become the backbone for international trade transactions. Currently, traders must file reports with multiple agencies, often on paper. In development for years and now undergoing testing, ITDS will allow traders to make a single electronic report, and the relevant data will be distributed to the appropriate federal agencies.
NEMA is an association of electrical equipment manufacturers, whose member companies make products such as power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, and factory automation and control systems.