A new system designed to streamline the regulatory process for exports and imports for US businesses should be up and running by December 2016.

The International Trade Data System (ITDS) is designed to cut processing and approval times for companies which currently have to submit information to multiple government agencies, often on paper forms.

Once fully implemented, the ITDS will allow businesses to transmit the information electronically through a “single window”, cutting time and expense for the 50m-plus containers and US$3.8trn of goods crossing US borders every year.

Now President Obama has signed a new Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses, which establishes the December 2016 for ITDS to be completed.

It also requires relevant agencies to transition from paper-based to electronic data collection, and calls for enhanced transparency through public posting of implementation plans.

Meanwhile, the newly expanded Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC) will be tasked with improving co-ordination among the dozens of agencies working in the import/export arena.