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CBP Prepares for Possible West Coast Trade Disruptions

Friday, June 27, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has established general vessel, cargo and entry guidelines 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 current contract is scheduled to expire June 30, although unions have said talks may extend past that date without a strike being called. CBP states that the following interim procedures will only be applicable during any such disruption and that it will publish notices when they go into effect and when they are terminated.

Vessel Diverted to Foreign Port and Discharged

- The manifest and importer security filing must be deleted.

- All bills of lading and entries filed against the bills need to be deleted (not cancelled) unless entry summary has been filed and monies paid, in which case the entries need to be cancelled.

- Entry filers can submit a deletion list to the intended U.S. port cargo coordinator or Trade Interface Unit notating “strike” and do not need to provide any additional documentation.

- Entries should be removed from the statement.

- For cargo subsequently entering the U.S. through land border or other means, a new entry should be filed at the appropriate port of entry.

- For shipments subject to Food and Drug Administration requirements, filers must request deletion and a new prior notice submission should be transmitted along with the new entry if the cargo subsequently enters the U.S.

Vessel Diverted to Foreign Port but Not Discharged

- This option, involving the transfer of the cargo to an alternative conveyance (i.e., barge) for arrival and discharge at the original intended port of entry, should be used only in limited situations.

- No change is needed to the manifest, bill of lading, ISF or pre-filed entries.

- A new FDA prior notice is not required.

- The arrival date will reflect the date the conveyance arrives at the intended U.S. port to be offloaded.

Vessel Diverted to Another West Coast Port and Discharged

Change pre-filed entries to reflect the actual port code of discharge: (1) manifest and bill information should be updated to reflect the port code where the freight will actually be discharged, (2) no change is needed to the ISF (though filers should monitor the ISF disposition codes to ensure that any changes to the manifest and bill information did not cause the original bill match to drop), (3) all pre-filed entries filed against the original bills should be deleted, (4) entry filers can submit a deletion list to the first intended U.S. port cargo coordinator or TIU notating “strike,” (5) entries should be removed from the statement, (6) new entries should be filed to reflect the actual port of entry, and (7) a new FDA prior notice is not required (filers can retransmit a corrected/updated prior notice)

OR

Initiate an electronic in-bond movement or use a CBP Form 7512 to allow for intermodal transport to the original intended U.S. port: (1) manifest and bill information should be updated to reflect the port code where the freight will actually be discharged, (2) no change is needed to the ISF (though filers should monitor the ISF disposition codes to ensure that any changes to the manifest and bill information did not cause the original bill match to drop; in addition, the 3461 entry should be filed at the destination port of entry for consumption and should indicate the port of unlading and the in-bond number); (3) if a shipment is designated for a security or agriculture examination, no movement of the cargo will occur until the exam has been completed at the U.S. port of arrival and discharge, (4) for shipments designated for compliance examinations, the shipment may be transferred under bond to the intended U.S. port for examination, (5) when a shipment receives a “documents required” message for merchandise requiring FDA examination, coordination with FDA must be made to determine the examination location (in some cases, FDA may grant a conditional release to allow movement to an importer’s premises), and (6) the entry summary must be filed at the intended U.S. port within 10 working days.

Vessel Diverted to Another U.S. Port and Not Discharged

No change is needed to the bill of lading or entries and the arrival date for the vessel will reflect the date the ship returns to the intended U.S. port to be offloaded.

Vessel Diverted to Gulf or East Coast for Discharge

- Manifest and bill information should be updated to reflect the port code where the freight will actually be discharged.

- No change is needed to the ISF (though ISF filers should ensure that any changes to the manifest and bill information did not cause the original ISF to drop).

- All pre-filed entries filed against the original bills should be deleted.

- Entry filers can submit a deletion list to the first intended U.S. port cargo coordinator or TIU notating “strike” and do not need to provide any additional documentation.

- Entries should be removed from the statement.

- New entries should be filed to reflect the actual port of entry.

- A new FDA prior notice is not required (filers can retransmit a corrected/updated prior notice).

Vessel Rests at Anchor and is Not Diverted

- Carriers must continue to provide advance notification to local CBP ports of their pending arrival (CBP Form 3171).

- When a vessel arrives at a U.S. port and comes to rest, whether at anchor, dock or harbor, carriers must notify local CBP vessel processing personnel.

- Carriers and vessel agents should maintain close communication with the local CBP port vessel processing office to share information, updates, instructions and port-specific guidance.

- CBP will work with carriers on a case-by-case basis so the actual arrival date and time at the first U.S. port closely reflects the actual date/time the vessel begins to unlade the cargo.

- CBP will also take into consideration situations where cargo has been unladen but due to work stoppage cannot be moved from the dock.

- Once the work stoppage is over, ports will make arrangements when possible to increase hours of operation to fully restore port operations.

- Merchandise requiring examination will be held until examination is complete.

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