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U.S. Government Shutdown Guidance

With the Federal government in ‘shutdown,’ it is important to understand which agencies will be impacted.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

Ports will be staffed as normal. Trucks will be processed, air cargo and hubs will be working and trains and vessels will all be processed. There will be no interruptions to conveyance, clearance and cargo release.

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) import operations will remain operational: FDA Prior Notice review, entry processing, sampling/examination of high-risk shipments, and compliance activities will continue.

For any entry-related issues:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will continue to provide inspection services, including inspections for import requirements, during the Federal Government shut down.

The Marketing Order and Agreement Division’s Compliance and Enforcement Branch (CEB) staff will be lightly staffed.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will have funding to continue border operations.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have funding to continue border operations. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will operate at the ports as normal during the shut down since the wildlife inspection program is funded using user fees and not appropriated funds. Issuance of Import/Export Licenses and Designated Port Exception Permits (DPEP) will be suspended during any shutdown as will their general email (lawenforcement@fws.gov) and headquarters/regional office telephone services. Any permits issued by the Division of Management Authority (DMA) such as CITES, ESA, etc. would be suspended during a possible shutdown.

While they will have emergency IT available to maintain eDecs and internal systems, help desk personnel will be on furlough in the event of a shutdown. They are asking the trade to stay in touch with the wildlife inspection offices if any help desk assistance is needed for eDecs.

 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

No National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) personnel will be available to release shipments in a circumstance where such action on their part is needed. No one will be available to take calls during the shutdown.

 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will have funding to continue border operations.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Customs operation will continue. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) will be closed.

Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)

Port investigators would be furloughed. CPSC targeting will be suspended. Shipments that have been targeted, but not arrived for examination, would be released, unless CBP or another PGA has interest or an imminent health and safety issue has been identified. Decisions on whether to release shipments that have been detained because they failed field screening and may be violative will be made on a case by case basis.

As far as a point of contact during a shutdown, they are referring callers to their hotline at (800) 638-2772, which will direct inquiries to staff on duty.