The Senate has reached a deal and voted to reopen the government.  The measure still has to go back to the House for a vote. The current deal will provide a three week fix; however if a long term deal cannot be reached by February 8th, CBP has released their policies for a furlough.

The details of CBP’s furlough procedures, if they become necessary, were published in a memo released by NCBFAA earlier this afternoon.  According to the NCBFAA’s memo the following actions will occur:

“Field trade processing positions that are excepted status: 

  • Center Directors, Import Specialists, Entry Specialists, and Liquidation Specialists,
  • International Trade Specialists
  • FP&F Specialists
  • Agriculture Specialists
  • CBP Officers

At CBP Headquarters, the Office of Trade and Office of Field Operations leadership are in excepted status.

Impact of the shutdown on trade cargo processing:

  • CBP will continue to process cargo and collect revenue, and continue national security and trade enforcement efforts with the minimal amount of disruption possible.
  • CBP has made special efforts to coordinate with our PGA colleagues, and is providing a list of PGA points of contact (attached) you may contact them directly if you have questions.

Examples of activities that will not occur during the shutdown:

  • Review of and response to Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) and electronic allegations of trade fraud;
  • Issuance of Customs Broker licenses, National Permits and Filer Codes;
  • All Trade data requests including commercial requests for ITRAC information;
  • Issuance of prospective rulings and the monitoring of import quotas, though quota entries will be accepted;
  • Additional trade enforcement policy guidance to the field will be significantly delayed.

Steel Monitoring and Analysis Unit

The online steel licensing system will be temporarily suspended and the computer system closed. However, you will need a license number to complete the Customs entry summary process. If you have already obtained a license for your incoming shipment, you must use that license number for your Customs paperwork.

If you have not yet obtained a steel import license, please use the following temporary license number for any entries of steel mill products until further notice:


*Please note: You must discontinue use of this temporary license number after the government resumes operations. Upon resumption of government operations, you will receive another email notice with instructions about the steel licensing system.”

Please feel free to contact Vandegrift with any questions or concerns and we will continue to update you with additional information as it becomes available.