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PRESS RELEASE January 16, 2024

NCBFAA Prepares Members for Potential Government Shutdown

Silver Spring, MD, Jan. 16, 2024 – While we hope that a U.S. government shutdown will be avoided, NCBFAA is taking no chances and asks its members to use the information developed by the association’s Legislative Committee to prepare themselves for what could become a reality, starting with a potential partial closure of federal agencies this Friday, Jan. 19, and followed by the remainder on Friday, Feb. 2.

House and Senate leaders on Jan. 7 had announced an agreement on a spending bill to keep the federal government operating until the end of the fiscal year. Initial reactions, however, were that the $1.66 trillion, long-term deal was in trouble in the House, as far-right Republican members promised to scuttle it. On Sunday, Jan. 14, a second deal was reached to avoid a government shutdown with a short-term continuing resolution.

The resolution would fund the government through March 1 for those federal agencies’ funding that expires this Friday:

  • Agriculture, rural development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and related agencies
  • Energy and water development
  • Military construction, Veterans Affairs, and related agencies
  • Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies

And March 8, for those agencies’ funding that expires Feb. 2:

  • Commerce, Justice, science, and related agencies
  • Defense
  • Financial services and general government
  • Homeland Security
  • Interior, environment, and related agencies
  • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies
  • Legislative Branch
  • State, foreign operations and related programs

The House and Senate will need to carefully coordinate to ensure that the measure passes both chambers and gets to the President’s desk before the deadline on Friday. Democrats reportedly have assessed the proposed continuing resolution and are expected to be supportive. The measure will come to the floor of the House under a mechanism that will require two-thirds of the House to pass, thus significant support will need to come from both parties to pass the measure.

“The current political environment in Washington is making us take a cautious approach,” said NCBFAA President Jose D. “JD” Gonzalez. “We want each of our member companies to be prepared and use the insightful shutdown information that we have provided through our special webpage. We welcome members to share this information not only with their staff but with their import-export clients.”

The U.S. has been spared a government shutdown twice since late last year, with stopgap legislation passed by Congress on Oct. 1 and Nov. 17.

NCBFAA has maintained this dedicated webpage that contains timely information on what our members need to know during a shutdown, including contacts at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) that have trade-hold authority. We strongly encourage our members to review this information in the days ahead.

https://www.ncbfaa.org/about-ncbfaa/ncbfaa-prepares-for-government-shutdown

On Sept. 22, 2023, NCBFAA also took the lead with 40 other trade associations to develop a comprehensive strategy with CBP and PGAs to ensure that legitimate trade is permitted to efficiently enter and exit our nation’s ports during a shutdown.

In the event of a government shutdown, NCBFAA will provide daily eblast updates to members regarding trade flows and encourage the information to be shared with your importer and exporter clients.

Contact

Megan Montgomery
Executive Vice President
NCBFAA
Email: mmontgomery@ncbfaa.org <mailto:mmontgomery@ncbfaa.org>

Christopher Gillis
Communications Director
NCBFAA
Email: cgillis@ncbfaa.org <mailto:cgillis@ncbfaa.org>  

December 22, 2023

Good afternoon Trade Communities and CBP Leadership,

All of the eight ports of entry within the Laredo Field Office are open and continue to process commercial shipments in the truck and rail environment.

The railroad crossing at the Port of Eagle Pass will resume operations at 1:00 p.m. today.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) continues with its safety vehicle inspections on all tractor/trailers coming in through the Port of Eagle Pass (2303) and Port of Del Rio (2302).

The Port of Eagle Pass (2303) and the Port of Del Rio (2302) are experiencing long commercial crossing and wait times as a result of the Texas DPS safety inspection truck exams occurring right outside CBP’s import cargo facilities.  The long Texas DPS safety inspection truck exam lines prevent the commercial trucks from exiting CBP’s import cargo facilities and accessing Texas roadways.

As a reminder, the surrounding six ports of entry within LFO area of responsibility are ready and able to process shipments that may be diverted due to long border crossing times as a result of Texas DPS safety exams.  Port of Eagle Pass and Del Rio Management are evaluating the ongoing situation and adjusting service operations as needed.

In preparation for potential impact to commercial cargo operations, CBP Port Directors and Assistant Port Directors (Trade) have their Business Resumption Contingency Plans to keep the flow of trade moving.  The Business Resumption Contingency Plan(s) when implemented may affect the following:

  • Only Operate Basic Essential Trade Processes.
  • Temporary Reduction of some Trade Services due to shift of CBP Officer resources to support Passenger Operations and/or Border Patrol Operations (migrant issues).
  • Reduction to number of open Primary and Exit Lanes; and Increase in Border Crossing Commercial wait times.

The above points are not all inclusive.

As always, thank you for your assistance and will keep you posted.

Armando Taboada Jr.
Assistant Director Field Operations - Trade
Laredo Field Office
Office of Field Operations
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office:  956-753-1773
Mobile: 956-693-8807
armando.taboada@cbp.dhs.gov

NCBFAA Helps Members Prepare for Potential Government Shutdown

A federal government shutdown, which was expected to start at 12 a.m., Oct. 1., was averted when Congress passed a stopgap bill. President Biden signed the legislation within hours before the midnight deadline. This stopgap bill will keep the government running through midnight this Friday, Nov. 17. However, with the strongly divided Congress, it is increasingly uncertain whether even another short-term government budget bill will be passed in time.

In the weeks leading up to the first potential government shutdown Oct. 1 deadline, NCBFAA took no chances and immediately engaged Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) on what we needed to do to keep legitimate trade moving through our nation’s ports of entry in the event of a government shutdown.

NCBFAA created this dedicated NCBFAA webpage that contains timely information on what our members need to know during a shutdown, including contacts at CBP and the PGAs that have trade hold authority. We strongly encourage our members to review this information in the days ahead.

In addition, the association on Sept. 29 held a sold-out, hour-long webinar to offer additional insights on what to expect from CBP and key PGAs during a potential government shutdown. Again, we encourage you to listen to the recording of the webinar, “Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for a Lapse in Government Funding,” here.

On Sept. 22, NCBFAA took the lead with 40 other trade associations to develop a comprehensive strategy with CBP and PGAs to ensure that legitimate trade is permitted to efficiently enter and exit our nation’s ports during a shutdown.

There is still a significant risk of a government shutdown once the stopgap measure expires Nov. 17, and rest assured that NCBFAA will continue to monitor government funding activities on Capitol Hill.  

 

Is Your Customs Broker Prepared for a Government Shutdown?

Jose D. (JD) Gonzalez, President, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America
Journal of Commerce
Oct 17, 2023, 4:59 PM EDT

A shutdown of the US government could cost American shippers millions of dollars in sudden supply chain delays at the nation’s ports of entry. Importers already face numerous regulatory challenges in the best of circumstances when bringing their goods into the country.

A federal government shutdown, which was anticipated to start on Oct. 1., was narrowly averted when Congress passed a stop gap bill. President Joe Biden signed the legislation within hours before the midnight deadline. The funding measure keeps the federal government operating through Nov. 17. While no one wants to see a government shutdown, it could unfortunately happen after the stopgap expires.

That is why it’s essential for importers to be prepared. One important step in that direction is for importers of all sizes to ask themselves: “Is my customs brokerprepared to assist me during a government shutdown?”

Customs brokers are the behind-the-scenes, right arm of most import operations inthe US. These operations take on the often-tedious task of compliantly clearing your goods through US ports of entry with Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These CBP-licensed individuals and their customs brokerage employers should be routinely communicating with their customers — the importers — regarding regulatory updates.

NCBFAA engaged with government agencies

In the weeks leading up to the potential Oct. 1 government shutdown, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) engaged CBP, as well as partner government agencies (PGAs) with trade hold authority such as the Food and Drug Administration, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and Consumer Products Safety Commission, to understand how the agencies intended to respond to such an event. It’s important for customs brokers to have this knowledge in advance of a government shutdown — no matter how long it might last — to keep legitimate trade moving efficiently through our nation’s ports.

CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner of Field Operations Diane Sabatino revealed in a speech to the customs broker industry in mid-September that the agency was planning a “war room” for its operations at the ports of entry to monitor and respond to a government shutdown.

On Sept. 22, 40 trade associations came together to develop a comprehensive strategy with CBP and PGAs to ensure that legitimate trade is permitted to efficiently enter and exit the nation’s ports during a shutdown. This strategy includes having routine trade updates from CBP’s “war room.”

Knowledgeable customs brokers should be no strangers to responding and keeping their clients informed during government shutdowns. During the 35-day government shutdown in 2018-19, those customs brokers with detailed knowledge and understanding of CBP and PGA operations spared their importers from delays at the border.

Laredo Field Office (LFO) (in event of government shutdown) 

September 29, 2023

Good afternoon Trade Communities and CBP Leadership,

In the event of a government shutdown on October 1, 2023, most of the commercial cargo services at the eight (8) ports of entry within the Laredo Field Office (LFO) will still remain open.  Commercial cargo includes the services of the ten Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Entry and Import Specialists), CBP Officers, and Agriculture Specialists.  LFO Trade Division personnel will also be work providing continued oversight and support to the ports of entry personnel.

We continue to see impact to commercial cargo operations at the Ports of Eagle Pass (2303) and Del Rio (2302) due mainly to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) inspections outside of the CBP cargo lots and surrounding migrant situation.

As a reminder, the Laredo Field Office CBP Port Directors and Assistant Port Directors (Trade) may initiate their Business Resumption Contingency Plans to keep the flow of trade moving.  The Business Resumption Contingency Plan(s) when implemented may affect the following:

Only Operate Basic Essential Trade Processes.

Temporary Reduction of some Trade Services due to shift of CBP Officer resources to support Passenger Operations and/or Border Patrol Operations (migrant issues).

Reduction to number of open Primary and Exit Lanes; and

Increase in Border Crossing Commercial wait times.

The above points are not all inclusive.  Our office will continue to provide updates, as necessary.

Please feel free to reach out to (A)ADFO Trade Juan J. Porras (956)753-1006 or me with any questions.

Armando Taboada Jr.
Laredo Field Office – Trade
(A)Director – Trade Operations Division
Cargo and Conveyance Security
Office of Field Operations
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office:  202-325-1954
Mobile: 956-693-8807
armando.taboada@cbp.dhs.gov

NCBFAA Requests Member Input to Prepare for Potential Oct. 1 Government Shutdown!

 WARNING! Our industry is staring down a possible U.S. government-wide shutdown starting Oct. 1 which will have an impact on how imports and exports are processed at the nation’s ports.

 In response, NCBFAA has already started internal discussions and planning for this potential government shutdown.

 Now we need your input! Please email us any specific issues you experienced during the last government shutdown with getting goods entered, cleared, and released for both imports and exports across all agencies, particularly those with direct hold authority (such as FDA, APHIS and FWS). We also need input from agencies where action on their part is needed for CBP to release shipments, such as EPA or CPSC.

 In addition, it is important that NCBFAA receives details regarding issues and concerns that you anticipate during a potential shut down in today's trade environment. Please be specific about potential pain points that could delay cargo clearance.

 We need your comments by no later than Monday, Sept. 18 (close of business). Send them to NCBFAA Executive Vice President Megan Montgomery at mmontgomery@ncbfaa.org

 CBP has started preplanning for a war room, and that war room is intended to include PGAs. NCBFAA has already started a dialogue with CBP and will reach out to the PGAs starting next week.

 Rest assured that NCBFAA has taken the lead on behalf of our industry to gather information and interact with those federal government agencies with authority over cross-border trade, so that you will be best informed on how to conduct your business during this impending government shutdown


 

NCBFAA Leads Industrywide Initiative to Engage CBP and PGAs in Event of Oct. 1 Government Shutdown!

Silver Spring, MD, Sept. 22, 2023 – Taking no chances with what appears to be a likely federal government shutdown starting Oct. 1, NCBFAA is leading an effort among 40 other trade associations to develop a comprehensive strategy with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) to ensure that legitimate trade is permitted to efficiently enter and exit our nation’s ports during a shutdown.

Specifically, the trade community requests:

  • Private sector access to the CBP “War Room.
  • PGA Presence in the CBP “War Room.”
  • CBP HQ, Ports, and Centers must coordinate.
  • CBP daily briefings with the private sector.
  • Trade must flow both ways.
  • All tangential trade functions must be considered essential.

“While we remain hopeful that a government shutdown can still be avoided, the current political environment in Washington is making us take a cautious approach,” said NCBFAA President Jose D. “JD” Gonzalez. “That is why it’s imperative for us to take action with CBP and the PGAs now in order that we can work with these agencies to keep our nation’s trade moving efficiently and securely.”

NCBFAA has already developed a special Government Shutdown webpage on its NCBFAA.org website in which timely informational updates related to trade from CBP and the PGAs for customs broker, freight forwarder and NVOCC members and their customers will be available.

“NCBFAA will keep its members informed with real-time information about what they need to know in order to perform their day-to-day business activities during the shutdown,” said NCBFAA Executive Vice President Megan Montgomery. “It’s all-hands-on-deck in our association.”

Read the entire Sept. 22 Joint Trade Industry Statement to CBP and the PGAs here.

Contact: 

Megan Montgomery
Executive Vice President
NCBFAA
Email: mmontgomery@ncbfaa.org

Christopher Gillis
Communications Director
NCBFAA
Email: cgillis@ncbfaa.org

NCBFAA was invited to be a guest on the Simply Trade Podcast, talking about the potential shut down.  Please have a listen and share across all socials.  This has been posted on LinkedIn and is being posted across NCBFAA’s other socials as well. Listen to the podcast here: https://gtc.trade/simply-trade-podcast/

Government Shutdown Resources

Member Only Access