[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 250 (Wednesday, December 31, 1997)]
[Pages 68353-68354]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-34039]



International Trade Data System Project Office; Proposed 
Collection; Comment Request

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Department of the Treasury, as part of its continuing 
effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general 
public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment 
on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 
3505(c)(2)(A)). Currently, the International Trade Data System Project 
Office within the Department of the Treasury is soliciting comments 
concerning the migration of the North American Trade Automation 
Prototype (NATAP) from a prototype to an operational pilot, and the 
pilot of the International Trade Prototype both of which will operate 
under the International Trade Data System (ITDS).

DATES: Written comments should be received on or before April 5, 1998. 
To be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to The Department of the 
Treasury, International Trade Data Systems Project Office, Attn: 
William Nolle, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 4000, Washington, DC 
20229, Telephone (202) 216-2760.

Requests for additional information or copies of the instructions 
should be directed to The Department of the Treasury, International 
Trade Data Systems Project Office, Attn.: William Nolle, 1300 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 4000, Washington, DC 20229, Telephone 
(202) 216-2760. Information concerning NATAP can also be obtained at 
the following Web Site: www.itds.treas.gov.


    Title: The International Trade Data System; North American Trade 
Automation Prototype (NATAP), and the International Trade Prototype 
    OMB Number: 1505-0162.
    Abstract: After extensive consultation with the trade community in 
the three countries, the NAFTA Information Exchange and Automation 
Working Group developed the North American Trade Automation Prototype 
(NATAP). NATAP is a prototype developed by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico 
to experiment with standardized data, advanced automation, 
technologies, communications, and encryption designed to reduce costs 
and improve trade among the three NAFTA counties. This is mandated by 
Article 512 of the NAFTA. NATAP has been endorsed by the three 
governments and their trade communities as a limited six month test to 
be conducted at two US/Canada and four US/Mexico border locations. 
After the prototype period ending in May 1998, NATAP will stop; the 
governments and trade community will conduct joint and individual 
evaluations of the concepts experienced in NATAP and will move NATAP 
from a prototype to a pilot.
    The intent of the International Trade Prototype (ITP) is nearly 
identical to that of NATAP, with some variations. ITP is an initiative 
with the United Kingdom Customs and Excise Administration. ITP employs 
similar data and technology as NATAP but extends this type of 
processing to the ocean (marine) and air environments. NATAP, on the 
other hand, was limited to land border truck and rail transactions. 
While the ITP is being done directly with the United Kingdom, it is 
being carefully examined by the European Economic Union (EEU).
    These two operational pilots (NATAP and ITP) will be used as a 
proof of concept for many attributes for the International Trade Data 
System (ITDS) as defined in the National Performance Review (NPR) under 
initiative ``IT 06'' and as noted in the ``Access America'' NPR report 
``A09'' in which the Vice President has designated NATAP to validate 
the International Trade Data System concept. In addition, NATAP 
incorporates encryption and privacy as noted in NPR initiative 
``IT10.'' NATAP and ITP are compatible as a proof of concept of the 
International Trade Data System and lead into other international trade 
initiatives such as international standardization of trade date being 
developed by the G-7 countries, and harmonization efforts underway with 
the Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC).
    In addition to the international standardization aspects of United 
States international, the intent of the U.S. Treasury, International 
Trade Data System Project Office is to demonstrate the integration of 
individual U.S. federal agency trade procedures into a comprehensive 
international trade process that includes the clearance and 
admissibility of goods, drivers/crew, and conveyances for purposes of 
enforcement, revenue, health and safety, etc.
    Current Actions: The three governments have agreed to extend NATAP 
as a prototype for six additional months until May 15, 1998. At the end 
of this prototype period, the three governments have agreed to deploy 
NATAP as an operational pilot. Note that the distinction between a 
prototype and operational pilots is that under the prototype, 
participants were required to conduct trade in the prototype and 
duplicate the same transaction in the current system. As an operational 
pilot, the transaction processed under the pilot will constitute the 
bonafide declaration and release. It will not be necessary under the 
pilot to perform both processes to obtain release of goods.
    Since we have gained much experience with NATAP in these advanced 
methods of processing, the International Trade Prototype effort with 
the United Kingdom will incorporate lessons learned from the NATAP and 
will move directly into the operation pilot phase.
    This is a request to permit the United States Treasury Department 
along with the Federal agencies participating in the NATAP and ITP to 
allow the collection of data for these pilots for a three year period.
    Volunteers have agreed to participate in NATAP and ITP in order to 
provide traders with the opportunity to experiment with these advanced 
technologies and procedures with minimal expense. Through their 
evaluation of NATAP and ITP, they will have input into future trade 
processes, requirements and the design, development, and deployment of 
the International Trade Data System.
    Type of Review: Extension.
    Affected Public: Importers, exporters, customs house brokers, 
carriers (truck and rail) who have volunteered to participate in NATAP 
and ITP.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: There are approximately 120 U.S. 
participants. Estimated number of respondents is 120.
    Estimated Time per Respondents: Each response will not exceed 3.5 
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 0 (No additional burden hours 
required. Pilot removes the need for

[[Page 68354]]

parallel processing as stated in original notice of November 25, 1996. 
Pilot replaces burden hours for Customs document CF 3461-ALT 1515-
    Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice 
will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All 
comments will become a matter of public record.
    Comments are invited on: (a) evaluate whether the proposed 
collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of 
the function of the agency, including whether the information and the 
prototype will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's 
estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to 
enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of this information to be 
collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of information on 
respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; (e) estimates of capital start-
up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services 
to provide information.
Richard A. Kuzmack,
Deputy Director, International Trade Data System Project Office.
[FR Doc. 97-34039 Filed 12-30-97; 8:45 am]