ITDS ON TARGET FOR BUFFALO PILOT
An operational run of the future front-end system of U.S. Customs' Automated Commercial Environment is scheduled for this spring in Buffalo, N.Y.
“This is not a prototype, it's a roll-out,” said Eugene Rosengarden, director of Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements for the U.S. International Trade Commission and board chairman of the International Trade Data System.
ITDS has been in development for several years, and will eventually link more than 100 federal agencies with a need for international trade data. The system gained momentum when it became part of Customs' systems development agenda last year. ITDS received $5.4 million from Congress in the fiscal 2000 budget.
The pilot in Buffalo will include the border crossings at the Peace and Lewiston bridges. Agencies participating in the initial pilot stages are Customs, Food and Drug Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carriers' Safety Administration. Other agencies will be added as the system expands, Rosengarden said.
A number of Buffalo-area customs brokers and truckers have expressed interest in participating in the pilot.
“The only way this program will be successful is to include all the trade partners” said Sandra Scott, customs and trade advocate for Roadway Express, and a participating carrier.
There are some concerns over the timing of cargo releases with many agencies more directly involved in the transactions data, but these are issues that will have to be worked out as ITDS evolves, said Tom Anastasi, vice president of border operations for Tower Group International, a Buffalo broker active in the ITDS pilot development.
Rosengarden said that specific data from ITDS will only be distributed to those agencies with a legal right to it.