Alexandria, Va

Alexandria, Va., October 22, 2001 - The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 strengthened its commitment to support Extensible Markup Language (XML) business needs at the October 2001 meeting in Miami, Fla. To move this initiative forward, committee members:

- Developed and adopted an action plan that provides the ASC X12 community with design rules and procedures for crafting XML-based messages. This plan will enable XML work to proceed within the ASC X12 subcommittees, which represent a wide range of industries, by ASC X12's February 2002 meeting in Seattle.

- Offered resounding support to collaborate with the international community on core component discovery, analysis and harmonization work providing that the emerging processes and procedures enable ASC X12 to participate in a consensus-based and open process. Domain-related discovery and analysis core component work remains with ASC X12, the UN/EDIFACT Working Group (EWG) and other national standards organizations. ASC X12 declared that as an ANSI accredited standards body, it is committed to contributing to the core component work and fully anticipates a level of participation equal to that of the original Electronic Business XML (ebXML) initiative.

- Devised a plan to host the second E-Business XML Cross-Industry Summit that includes ASC X12 members, industry groups and associations, international standards bodies and other interested parties to work together on cross-industry XML development.

"ASC X12's initiatives to collaborate with the international community, XML industry consortia and complementary standards development organizations harmonize the multitude of parallel efforts to generate data exchange solutions in such formats as EDI, XML and EDIFACT," said ASC X12 Chair David Barkley of Freddie Mac. "This emerging convergence ultimately enhances global trade, reduces implementation costs of e-business standards, and extends the reach of e-business to small and midsize companies."

In addition, ASC X12 remains committed to developing electronic data interchange (EDI) standards. To facilitate the requirements of the 2000 Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act (MTSA), which provides the telecommunications industry with a method of determining the correct taxing jurisdictions for wireless service, ASC X12 's Government Subcommittee initiated development of the following new transaction set (TS):

- Tax Jurisdiction Sourcing (TS 158), which is slated to transmit any address in the U.S. Postal Service format from a wireless telecommunications vendor to the holder of tax jurisdiction sourcing information for the state in which the address resides. In exchange, the wireless service provider receives the set of taxing jurisdictions having governance over the address in question. The data elements used in this TS will define the database record. The development of this tax jurisdiction methodology is also being watched by task forces studying the feasibility of a simplified system for sourcing electronic commerce transactions that utilize the "ship to" or "bill to" address.

In addition, the MTSA provides for the creation of state provided electronic databases in order to link each home or business address to its proper taxing jurisdiction. The uniform format of these state databases is by law to be approved jointly by the Federation of Tax Administrators, the Multistate Tax Commission, and ASC X12.

Committee representatives completed work on the next ASC X12 Version 4, Release 5, which includes 314 TSs and is scheduled for publication in December 2001. ASC X12 approved for publication the following new X12 TS, which will appear in the December annual release:

- Rail Carrier Services Settlement (TS 424), developed by the X12 Transportation Subcommittee, is used to provide details between railroads for charges associated with a variety of rail services. This TS will help streamline settlement functions between railroads for performing junction settlement or switching services.

To drive committee initiatives, the ASC X12 membership reelected David Barkley, Director of eCommerce Relations for Freddie Mac, as Chairman, and Ralph Berwanger, Ambassador to Standards for bTrade, Inc., as Vice Chairman.

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, accredited by the American National Standards Institute and comprised of cross-industry representation, develops robust e-business exchange specifications and EDI standards that interact with a multitude of e-commerce technologies and serve as the premier tool for integrating electronic applications. Through standards setting and active participation in emerging and technically relevant initiatives, ASC X12 facilitates the effective exchange of electronic information. Propelling global e-business, ASC X12 serves as the entry point for the United States into the United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), an international standard relating to the exchange of trade goods and services. To learn more about ASC X12, visit www.x12.org or call 703-837-6155.