U.S. Federal Government Shutdown Update
The current continuing resolution funding the federal government expired at midnight on September 30, 2013. While negotiations over the budget continue, a government shutdown, has occurred.
According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on September 17th, each federal department and agency is alerted to update their contingency plans detailing which activities are considered essential and, by law, may continue to be performed during a shutdown.
Some government organizations have ceased all operations while others are running on reduced staffing with reduced services/capabilities.
Entry processing by U.S. Customs & Border Protection is fortunately mostly unaffected by the shutdown.
According to the acting Customs commissioner: “All ports of entry are operating as normal with the usual hours of service. There are no limitations on overtime, which is now fully available as we are in a new fiscal year. All front line personnel are exempt from the shutdown, including port inspectors, agricultural inspectors, revenue staff (import specialists, duty collection, drawback, fines and penalties staff), the Border Patrol and Air and Marine.”
Trusted trader and traveler programs will continue as normal, although C-TPAT validations will be curtailed due to limitations on travel. Global entry appointments will be conducted on schedule. ACE development may be impacted, as IT staff is not exempt from the shutdown. CBP is trying to limit the impact through the use of available government and contactor staff. The Office of International Trade is looking at the options to keep the momentum going on ACE and meet their planned deployment schedule.
While there are no current issues with entry processing by Customs, other government agencies (OGAs) have been affected by the shutdown, and that may correlate to delays and issues with clearance and entry of importations. Below is a summary of the currently noted impacts to some key government agencies:
ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives)
Suspension of processing of permits, certificates of label approval, and manufacturer of non-beverage products drawback claims.
CBP (U.S. Customs & Border Protection)
All client representative offices are closed.
The CBP website is still up but is not actively being managed.
Census website is down.
The AES Direct website still operational at this time.
DOC (Department of Commerce)
ADA/CVD. The Commerce Department is tolling all deadlines in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings.
DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency)
Website is up but is not actively being managed.
Based on information on website, DCMA staffed have been furloughed and it appears no duty-free certificates will be issued to support HTS 9808 entries. We are currently monitoring for confirmation.
The FDA at various ports have issued communications warning of potential delays in entry reviews/FDA clearances due to furloughed staffing.
Fish & Wildlife
Per a fact sheet on DOI (Department of Interior) website, no F&W permitting work or consultations will occur with respect to:
Endangered Species Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act,
The Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES),
The Lacy Act or the National Environmental Policy Act.
ITC (International Trade Commission)
Closure of USITC website.
HTSUS On line Tool is down.
ITA (International Trade Administration)
No access to ADD/CVD information.
Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis Unit site down.
Closure of website, affecting on-line access to information.
No review or authorization of notifications or permits for the importation, interstate movement, or field release of genetically engineered organisms.
USTR (U.S. Trade Representative)
The U.S. Trade Representative website will remain live, but without updates, for the duration of the government shutdown.
Regular Customs entries should continue to flow as normal, however it is possible that imports subject to OGA (i.e. FDA, USDA, F&W, etc.) review and clearance will experience delays during the government shutdown period. Backlogs should be expected once the shut down ends.
Importers whose goods are subject to OGA permits or licenses should ensure they have obtained them prior to shipping. Importers may experience delays or inability in obtaining those permits/licenses until the shutdown is over.
PNG Worldwide LLC will continue to gather information on what effects the shutdown is having on importers. Additional information will be shared on http://pnglc.com/blog/ as it becomes available.
For any questions or concerns on how this may affect your business, please contact International Operations Manager, Andrew Tunis firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that due to the complex nature of the subject matter, PNG Worldwide LLC cannot be responsible for actions taken by the reader in reliance on the information contained herein without prior consultation with PNG Worldwide LLC