Status Update on U.S. Federal Government Shutdown

The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government continues with no end date established. President Trump may decide to declare a national emergency to enable funding of a wall at the southern U.S./Mexican border.  If this occurs, the shutdown could end when agreement is reached by the President and Congress on the other budget line items, a continuation resolution could be issued

Status Updates by Agencies:

Customs and Border Protection (CBP):

  • CBP reports that frontline activities continue without a reduction in service.
    • For shipments delayed, the Trade may contact the CBP ACE help desk.
    • For cargo-related issues, the Trade should speak with the port.
    • The quota desk is staffed, with a dedicated email box set up for any quota issues that may arise.
    • Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEEs) are open and Entry and Import Specialists are working.
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) applications and payments are being accepted, but all refunds, including ACH refunds, have been suspended since all Treasury employees that support the refund process are not working.
  • Protests and drawback claims should continue to be filed, to preserve rights.
  • Although regulatory audits have been suspended, and will be rescheduled once the lapse ends, the Trade should continue to adhere to timelines required for submission of requested documents.
  • National Account Representatives and ABI Client Representatives are on hiatus until the shutdown ends.
  • No work is being done regarding Section 301 tariffs and USTR exclusion requests.
  • Upcoming trade collaboration industry meetings will be postponed to a later date (i.e. on Intellectual Property Rights, block-chain, etc.).
  • CBP confirmed an issue with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule’s (HTS) new Units of Measurement (UOM) changes which took effect on January 1, 2019. Specifically, there is an issue for UOMs which changed from ‘X’ to ‘GM’, since ‘GM’ does not exist in the current CATAIR.  CBP advised to make a temporary logic association until UOM changes are announced. (Note that of the 659 UOM changes, mostly were ‘X’ to another UOM, not at issue.)
  • CBP acknowledged they had an unplanned Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) outage for three hours on January 8th, that also caused the Automated Export System (AES) to be down. They did not indicate whether this was shutdown related.

International Trade Commission (ITC):

  • The 2019 Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), with a change record, has not been posted.
  • Section 232 and Section 301 claims, including classifications and IRS number updates have been put on hold.
  • Investigative activities, including proceedings under sections 332, 337, and 201, and Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930, and technical assistance to the U.S. Trade Representative and Congress, as well as all other government functions other than those directly supporting active litigation to which the USITC or the United States is a party, are on hold.

Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR):

  • Adjudication on Section 301 and 201 petitions are still functional, but the technical work that is handled by CBP is not. CBP cannot load the approved exclusions into ACE. No additional product approvals will take place during the shutdown.
  • The USTR will begin furloughs at the close of business on January 11, 2019.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

  • All operations (prior notice, entry sampling, etc.) are continuing, with no plan to change coverage of ports.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • EPA is currently shut down, but CBP has a protocol for critical cargo release. For difficult release issues, CBP can talk to the port of entry and interface with EPA’s limited staff.  However, EPA has advised that “EPA hold intact” shipments will remain on EPA hold until the shutdown is over.

Import Administration (IA):

  • The Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System (SIMA) has provided a temporary code (STEEL1218) to use for steel licenses.

Court of International Trade (CIT):

  • The CIT is conducting business to provide all normal judicial business functions until further notice.

Please see our previous Trade News articles on the U.S. Government furlough:

Government Shutdown 2018 Impact

Government Shutdown 2018 CBP Impact

If you have any questions regarding the status of the U.S. Federal government shutdown, and what it affects, Livingston can help!  Please contact either your Livingston account manager or our regulatory affairs group at