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CBP Clarifies West Coast Trade Disruption Plans for FDA Shipments, Broker Permits

Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has updated the general vessel, cargo and entry guidelines it has set forth in preparation for the “major delays and diversions” at West Coast ports that could result if ongoing negotiations on a new six-year labor contract between dockworkers and their employers are unsuccessful. The initial guidelines can be found here; the information below is what has been added in the meantime.

- CBP plans to provide front-of-the-line benefits and priority processing to C-TPAT partners upon resumption of operations after any disruption.

- Vessels diverted to a foreign port, another West Coast port, or a Gulf or East Coast port and discharged: For shipments subject to Food and Drug Administration requirements, filers may request entry cancellations in lieu of entry deletions. In either case, a new entry number and a new FDA prior notice submission will be required if the cargo subsequently enters the U.S. When a shipment receives a message for merchandise requiring FDA examination, coordination with FDA must be made to determine the examination location if the cargo subsequently enters the U.S.  In some cases, FDA may grant a conditional release to allow movement to an importer’s premises, provided the location is permitted by FDA.

- Vessel diverted to a foreign port, another West Coast port, or a Gulf or East Coast port but not discharged: For shipments subject to FDA requirements, a new FDA prior notice is not required provided the prior notice confirmation number has not expired (15 days for PNSI generated PN#s and 30 days for ABI/ACS generated PN#s).

- Customs brokers permitted in a district from which cargo is diverted due to West Coast trade disruptions and who have cargo diverted for entry to another district in which they are not permitted may obtain a temporary district permit in advance that lasts until the disruption concludes by contacting the broker management officer at the port of entry. The required fee will be waived. 

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