INDUSTRY VIEWS U.S. CUSTOMS IMPORT DATA STUDY AS A VENUE TO REFORM
U.S. Customs has started conducting an extensive review of the data elements it collects during the import process.
The agency is required to conduct the study under this year’s miscellaneous trade bill. The study will help other trade-data-using federal agencies to determine whether the information is required and whether the agency has the authority to collect it. The import and transportation industries will also review and provide feedback to the study.
To start the review process, Customs released its Data Element Review Package “to show the trade community the extent to which analysis must be performed in order to accurately determine information requirements, data submission, and government procedures involving the processing of trade data.”
The package comprises three sections:
* The current Automated Commercial System and cargo release data elements, and complicated procedures of the Census’ Foreign Trade Division.
* Data elements for the proposed International Trade Data System.
* Data elements laid out by the Group of Seven countries.
“The cost to bring goods into the United States is not going down. It’s going up,” said James P. Finnegan, director of international trade and compliance at Sony Corp. and chairman of the U.S. Business Alliance for Customs Modernization.
Some importers have seen the costs of some of their components increase 5 to 20 percent because of Customs and other agency data requirements. “That’s unacceptable,” Finnegan said.
Industry officials plan to study the proposal closely and it’s expected to be used in their efforts to reform the Customs import process.
Customs will make the report available on its Web site at http://customs.gov.