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U.S Government Shutdown – What You Need to Know

UPDATE: Government Reopens After 16-day Partial Shutdown

Late Wednesday night, Congress passed a bill to end the government shutdown, which President Obama has signed into action.  Federal workers have returned to work this morning.  The debt cushion has been extended through February 7th with appropriations for funding the Federal government authorized through January 15th, 2014.

We have already seen an immediate impact with websites including the ITA’s Steel Licensing program and ITC’s Tariff book now becoming available.  Agencies including FDA and EPA will certainly be playing “catch-up” however we will continue to monitor impact to trade activities and our customers.



The United States Government shutdown enters the eighth day, as Congress failed to reach an agreement on a spending budget Monday,  forcing about 800,000 federal workers off the job.

Although numerous government agencies have been impacted, the current overall feel is that  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trade activities face a relatively minimal threat. It has been confirmed that 87% of  CBP employees are continuing to go to work, with only 6,000 of the 58,000 agency employees furloughed. This means that day-to-day operations continue, but  support functions including  processing of  continuous bonds,  ruling requests, the reviews on certain import related issues  may take longer.

Other agencies operating on smaller budgets and already limited resources have not been as insulated from the shutdown. There have already been reports of agencies including FDA, APHIS and ITA making dramatic changes to websites, processing times and falling back on contingency operating plans.

Willson International is continuously monitoring the situation and will update this blog along with our Twitter and Facebook feed with new information as it advances. Below is a list of resources for more information and to keep you informed on developments:


Willson Twitter

Willson Facebook

White House

Agency Contingency Plans


FDA Furlough Guidance

APHIS ePermits


ITA Steel Licensing


If you should have any questions regarding these, or any other compliance matters please contact Willson International Ltd Client Transition & Compliance Services at or