A federal government shutdown due to the U.S. Congress inability to provide funding for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, appears to be increasingly likely.
For companies involved in international trade, such as importers, exporters and Customs Brokers, there is significant concern about whether U.S. Customs (CBP) and Partner Government Agencies (PGA) such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture and many others will continue to operate during a shutdown.
In the last shutdown, CBP continued processing cargo and collecting revenue, and also handled national security and trade enforcement efforts with a minimal amount of disruption. The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) being a fully electronic platform, along with the normal staffing of the local Ports allowed cargo to flow as usual. Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) directors and assistant directors, entry specialists, and import specialists worked through it. However, Automated Broker Interface (ABI) Client Representatives were not available during that time, and the processing of Customs Rulings was placed on hold. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) suspended regular services, including the processing of export license applications.
We are expecting to receive instructions from CBP and PGAs in the coming days.