The current government shutdown has caused a number of changes that may affect the import industry, as it has affected many others. During this period of uncertainty, Customs and Border Protection officials are holding weekly update calls with leaders of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA). While there are some items that remain unsettled, the NCBFAA has been able to publish guidance to the industry regarding CBP and other key agencies.
The guidance notes that:
- CBP is aware of certain technical problems (such as Unit of Measurement errors) occurring as the result of the shutdown, but is unable to support them at this time.
- There will be no ACH refunds or audits conducted during the shutdown, though applications are still being taken.
- All ABI client representative functions are on hiatus until the shutdown ends. For stuck shipments, users should reach out to the CBP ACE help desk. For cargo issues, you should speak with the port.
- Most scheduled CBP meetings and conference calls have been postponed.
- In regard to the Section 301 tariffs and USTR exclusion requests, none of the work is continuing at this time.
- FDA, USDA, and EPA will continue border operations.
In this rapidly changing environment, we are advising clients to consider the following:
- Know whether your imports are affected and decide what you’re going to do about it.
- If you have a question about whether your products are affected by the shutdown, we may be able to help.
- Don’t panic, but also don’t ignore the possible significant impact to your business.
This continues to be a very fluid situation, and we are here to help you find the proper course of action.