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Update on Trade Effects of Government Shutdown

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The continuing federal government shutdown is impacting U.S. imports and exports as well as companies engaged in international trade. According to information gathered from press sources, government agencies, trade organizations and elsewhere, these effects include the following. Previous reports on this topic are available here and here.

- U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to process imports, but there may be delays in processing cancellations, deletions, corrections, bond requests and refusals by the Food and Drug Administration. Ports have been instructed to manually release entries of goods subject to tariff-rate quotas and to suspend liquidation for ultimate liquidation at the proper rate. Validations under the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism are not being processed.

- The FDA continues to perform critical functions, such as entry review, field examinations, sample collections, compliance, exports and destructions, but with limited resources so delays at some locations are possible. The agency is reportedly not accepting new registrations for, or conducting physical inspections of, foreign and domestic facilities manufacturing drugs or medical devices. Information about FDA activities with respect to medical devices and pharmaceuticals is available here.

- The International Trade Administration intends to uniformly toll for the duration of the shutdown all administrative deadlines related to the administration of the antidumping and countervailing duty laws, including deadlines for preliminary and final determinations in investigations and administrative reviews.

- The ITA’s online steel import licensing system has been suspended. Because a license number is required to complete CBP entry summary processes, importers should (a) use any license number already obtained for an incoming shipment or (b) send an email to the ITA if they have not yet obtained a license.

- Environmental Protection Agency personnel are not available to process notices of arrival of pesticides and devices.

- Declarations for imports or exports of fish or wildlife must be submitted in paper form to the Fish & Wildlife Service as the agency’s eDecs system is down.

- A wide range of trade data and information is temporarily unavailable, including the Harmonized Tariff Schedule on the International Trade Commission’s Web site and the Foreign Trade Regulations on the Census Web site as well as new trade deficit statistics and data on textile and apparel imports from the Commerce Department.

- The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is not providing various services, including the review or authorization of notifications or permits for the importation, interstate movement or field release of genetically engineered organisms and most management, administrative and oversight functions, such as facility inspections and complaint investigations related to the Animal Welfare Act.

- The Export-Import Bank is not processing applications for export financing.

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