The government shutdown began on December 22nd. Since the 24th of December was declared a Federal Holiday, U.S. Customs first full regular day of business after the shutdown will be on Wednesday the 26th. However, Customs operations are expected to be affected as in previous shutdowns and on a very limited basis. 5,200 of the 60,100 Customs employees may have to continue working without pay.
Revenue collections areas including Import Specialists, Entry Specialists, and Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures should be fully operational. Automated Clearing House (ACH) statements were generated today and payment transmissions were accepted routinely.
While the Centers of Excellence and Expertise will be open for business, the ABI Client Representatives will not be available and binding ruling requests may not be processed during this time.
The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) being a fully electronic platform, along with the normal staffing of the local Ports should allow cargo to flow as usual. Several Ports have informed the trade that operations will remain open with business as usual during regulars hours of service and without any impact. Cargo arriving to the United States by any means of transportation should be processed normally. Even though today is an official Customs holiday, all of our shipments have been processed, released and forwarded to their final destinations without any trouble at all. So far, so good.
On the Partner Government Agencies (PGA) side, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture will be operationally uninterrupted by the shutdown.
We are expecting an announcement from Customs in the next few days regarding the effect of the government shutdown on its operations.