IMPORTANT NOTICE: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN EFFECTS ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Midwest Transatlantic Lines, Inc. is committed to keeping you informed about the impending government shutdown and its potential impact on international trade. We recently participated in a webinar hosted by the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) to provide you with crucial information. The shutdown is scheduled to commence on October 1, 2023, and could last anywhere from three weeks to 45 days or longer. Below, we outline the expected operational status of key agencies:
Government Shutdown Overview:
The government shutdown has the potential to last anywhere from three weeks to 45 days or longer, and its impact on international trade can be significant. We’ve outlined below the expected operational status of key agencies during this period:
- FDA: Expected to function at 80% capacity but expect delays. No confirmation on the status of ITACS (Import Trade Auxiliary Communication System).
- CPSA: Furloughed, with automation systems shut down.
- Fish & Wildlife: No permits or licenses will be issued; automation systems shut down.
- EPA: Furloughed. Note: EPA may issue “May Proceed” on Chemicals but reserves the right to issue inspection notices later.
- APHIS: Anticipated to operate at 80% capacity, but local holds may experience delays.
- ATF: Furloughed.
- FMC: Furloughed, with the filing system temporarily unavailable.
- TSA: Functioning, but contingency plans will be announced on October 1.
- Customs & Border Protection: Fully operational for cargo release and exams. Centers of Excellence and Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures will operate as usual. Please note that ABI client representatives will be furloughed.
Please be aware that automation systems and websites may experience disruptions, affecting services such as Steel & Aluminum Licenses and the online Harmonized Tariff Schedule.
1: How will the shutdown affect FDA inspections and delays in our shipments?
The FDA is expected to function at 80% capacity during the government shutdown. However, it’s advisable to anticipate some delays in FDA inspections due to reduced staffing levels. As a result, your shipments that involve FDA-related approvals or inspections may experience extended processing times. We recommend closely monitoring your shipments and considering any contingency plans or adjustments to your delivery schedules to account for potential delays.
2: What should we do if we have pending permits with Fish & Wildlife?
During the government shutdown, Fish & Wildlife will not issue permits or licenses, and their automation systems will be offline. If you have pending permits or licensing requirements with Fish & Wildlife, we advise contacting our support team to assess the specific implications for your shipments. Our team can work with you to explore potential alternatives or provide guidance on addressing your immediate needs.
3: Are there any actions we need to take to prepare for delays caused by the shutdown?
To prepare for potential delays resulting from the government shutdown, consider the following steps:
- Review your shipment schedules and timelines: Assess whether any critical shipments are affected by the shutdown’s timing. It may be necessary to adjust your schedules to account for potential delays.
- Communicate with your partners and suppliers: Keep open lines of communication with suppliers, carriers, and customs brokers to stay informed about any changes or disruptions that could impact your shipments.
- Monitor agency updates: Stay informed about agency-specific announcements and updates related to the shutdown. Agencies such as Customs & Border Protection and TSA are expected to operate as usual but may have specific contingency plans.
- Maintain documentation: Ensure that all necessary documentation for your shipments is complete and accurate. This includes customs documentation, permits, and licenses. Having your paperwork in order can help expedite processing once agencies resume normal operations.
- Contact our support team: If you have specific concerns or questions about how the shutdown may affect your shipments, please reach out to our support team. We’re here to assist you and provide guidance tailored to your unique situation.
4. How might the government shutdown impact air transportation and customs clearances, including air forwarding services?”
During the government shutdown, air transportation, including air forwarding services, may experience delays. Reduced staffing levels can impact customs clearances and inspections, potentially causing bottlenecks in the shipping process. It’s essential to stay informed and collaborate closely with your logistics partners to adapt to changing timelines effectively.
5: How can logistics partners and forwarding companies assist businesses during a government shutdown?
Forwarder services are integral to international trade and can provide valuable support during uncertain times like a government shutdown. They offer expertise in customs compliance, logistics coordination, and navigating changing logistics landscapes. Collaborating closely with forwarder service providers can help businesses address challenges effectively and maintain a steady flow of shipments.
Explore how our forwarding services and custom solutions can support your business during the government shutdown. If you have specific concerns or questions about how the shutdown may affect your shipments, please reach out to our support team. We’re here to assist you and provide guidance tailored to your unique situation.
For more information and resources related to the government shutdown, please explore the following:
- Joint Trade Industry Statement Regarding a Potential Lapse in Government Funding on October 1, 2023 – NCBFAA, in collaboration with 40 trade associations, has devised a comprehensive strategy in partnership with CBP and PGAs to facilitate the smooth flow of legitimate trade through our nation’s ports during a government shutdown
- Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2023) Revision 11 – the NCBFAA Customs Committee recommends downloading a copy of the HTS to avoid any complications from system glitches. We have already downloaded a copy for your convenience.
- Customs & Border Protection (CBP) – official website
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – official website
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – official website
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – official website
If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your shipments or operations during the government shutdown, please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team.
Thank you for your continued partnership.
Experience the MTA Lines Advantage – Delivering First-Class Solutions in Forwarding Freight and Shipping Services. With over 40 years of industry expertise, MTA Lines delivers a comprehensive suite of logistics services, including forwarding freight, air and ocean solutions, and specialized trade lanes. As an employee-owned enterprise, we take pride in our dedicated customer service and tailored industry solutions. Whether you’re a small or mid-sized manufacturer seeking reliable shipping services in the Midwest or beyond, partner with MTA Lines for excellence in global logistics. Reach out today to explore how our forwarding freight and shipping services can enhance your supply chain.