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US Government Shutdown Update

The U.S. Government shutdown went into effect on Saturday, December 22, 2018, resulting in mandatory furloughs and limited staffing of many U.S. Government Agencies.  Additional information will continue to become available as the shutdown continues.


The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) posted the statuses of the below agencies:


Customs & Border Patrol (CBP):

– Section 301 exclusions are unable to be processed at this time. Customs has since issued a notice via CSMS #18-000757, advising that guidance on the application of the exclusions will be implemented ten (10) business days after the shutdown.

– The Office of Trade will be open. Management and leadership will be staffed, as well as field operations.

– Client ABI Representatives will not be available at this time and may be recalled if there is an ACE outage.

– The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be closed.

– The US International Trade Commission (USITC) is also affected, so there will be no updates to the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Site.

– ACE developments can continue for a few weeks based on existing funds, but no ACE training/technology support would be available during the shutdown.

– CBP intends to conditionally release FDA and EPA cargo so that it can be moved out of the ports and held at the importer’s premises.

– CBP 28s and 29s will be issued.

– Centers for Excellence and Expertise: CEEs continue to operate, but national account managers will be furloughed.

– Deadlines for rulings and other decisions would also be affected. Many decisions will only be published and available after the shutdown has ended.

– The AES (census) Helpdesk is shut down. There are export experts at the ports if you have any questions.

– CBP is not processing any refunds of any kind (Normal refunds, drawback, etc.) at this time.


The Partner Government Agencies (PGA):

– CPSC: Consumer Product Safety – All port investigators will be furloughed and CPSC targeting will be suspended.  Pending shipments will be released, unless imminent health or safety risks are identified.

– EPA: Environmental Protection Agency – The EPA will continue border operations.

– FDA: Food & Drug Administration – Import operations are expected to remain operational.

– FSW: Fish & Wildlife – Operations at the ports are to remain active.  Issuance of licenses & permits will be suspended during the shutdown.

– NHTSA: National Highway Traffic Safety – All personnel will be furloughed.

– USDA: United States Department of Agriculture – There is an electronic release process in place and FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) will continue border operations.


We will continue to follow the government shutdown closely and will provide details if an extensive shutdown lasts and affects the flow of cargo and release.