A new day dawned at the U.S. International Trade Commission on November 7, 2011. That's the day that new E-Filing requirements took effect.
The USITC now requires that most documents be filed electronically (e-filed) rather than filed in paper form. Filers will submit their documents through the USITC's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS), which has been upgraded to accept both public and confidential documents from external filers.
The Commission expects to achieve significant cost savings with its new approach to processing documents. Electronic filing also is expected to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the filing process, because documents will be entered into EDIS (the agency’s electronic docket) more rapidly. The new filing procedures also facilitate USITC compliance with government-wide initiatives to reduce paper and to conduct more business electronically and transparently.
Under new rules published by the agency in October, e-filing is now required for the majority of documents, with some exceptions. Some documents, such as petitions in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and complaints in section 337 investigations must still be filed in paper, although the number of paper copies required has been reduced. In addition, filers will be required to file true paper copies of certain documents in addition to the electronic version.
"The Commission is striving to reduce the amount of paper that participants in its investigations must file," said USITC Secretary James R. Holbein. "We found, however, that some filings will still require paper copies, generally because of the complexity of the documents and the timeframes within which those documents must be provided to the Commissioners and staff."
Holbein sees the new procedures as a big step forward for the USITC.
"When EDIS debuted more than 10 years ago, we envisioned a day when we would be able to move forward with e-filing, and these new procedures are a strong move in that direction," he said. “We realize there will be a learning curve, and we’re committed to helping filers understand the requirements. We’ve published a very informative Handbook on Filing Procedures which gives specific instructions on the requirements for various types of filings.
"And of course, staff in the Office of the Secretary’s Dockets Services division are ready to answer questions and assist filers as they learn the new process."
Filers with questions can contact USITC staff at email@example.com or 202-205-1802.
Watch for additional information and details on the new filing procedures in future features in this section.