A Defense Department export control license database expanded to include the State and Commerce departments will be fully operational by mid-October.
Commerce Department Deputy Under Secretary for the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Daniel Hill told Defense Daily Sept. 5 the agencies are still working out a few fixes for the database, called USXPORTS, but he is confident the system will be fully operational by October.
“I have every confidence it will be up and running by the end of the year,” Hill said. “I think we set a date for early October to try and push to get it up and fully operational and I’m hoping we’ll come as close to that as possible.”
USXPORTS will be a single integrated information technology (IT) system used by federal agencies involved in export control to streamline the interagency review process.
Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA) Director James Hursch told an audience Sept. 5 at ComDef 2012 in Washington that, in addition to Commerce, State and Defense departments, he hopes USXPORTS will be fully operational for the Treasury and Energy departments, the intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security and NASA by late 2013.
Hursch said getting the three main export control agencies on one license database system will be no small feat.
“Of course, the long run plan is to get it out all the way from application to enforcement,” Hursch said. “But getting all three of us on one system that is built the same way and works the same way will be a major achievement.”
A May 18 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Export Enforcement Coordination Center (EC2) will use USXPORTS. The report said BIS completed a replacement of all its computers in 2010, a step that will help it prepare for the adoption of the single IT system.
The creation of a single information technology system to be used to administer the export control system is one of four “singularities” of the Obama administration’s effort to modernize the United States export control system. The other four singularities are: a single export control licensing agency for both dual-use and munitions exports, a unified control list and a single enforcement coordination agency. The CRS report said the creation of a single control list has been the Obama administration’s focus to date and no specific proposals have been made concerning the single licensing agency.
The CRS report said currently a license submitted to BIS using the SNAP-R system must be converted to BIS’ internal ECASS system for internal deliberation, and if sent for referral, must be converted to USXPORTS (for DoD) or D-Trade (for State). The Obama administration’s plan calls for the adoption of USXPORTS first for internal communications such as license referrals, while exporters would continue to use the existing SNAP-R and D-Trade electronic license filing portals.
The White House has indicated it would eventually like to facilitate interoperability among the license portals, the internal systems and Customs’ Automated Export System (AES), the information system that tracks actual movements of goods.