An Update from INLT on the Government Shutdown

We work regularly with INLT, a brokerage company. Their motto for importers: “Your broker should make your job easier, not create a bottleneck in your supply chain. We’re changing the role of the customs broker by enhancing visibility, prioritizing compliance, and reducing cost.”

They recently updated on the government shutdown and I wanted to share with you all.

If you are regularly importing, I highly suggest getting onto their mailing list.

We hoped the government shutdown would have come and gone before this message was necessary, but with no end in sight, we’ll begin sharing regular updates on how the shutdown will impact your importing processes.

CBP field operations will be staffed as normal, meaning there will be no interruptions to conveyance, clearance, and cargo release. As some PGA’s will not be funded, CBP will use their discretion at the border to keep cargo flowing. Centers of Excellence and Expertise will be open as normal with drawback and liquidations continuing under normal circumstances.

The Office of Trade operations will also be open to ensure cargo flows as predictably as possible. However, client representatives will not be working and will only be recalled in the case of an ACE outage. These are the folks who keep the ACE system running, so their absence is of some concern.

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

All U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) port investigators have been be furloughed and CPSC targeting has been 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) personnel will also be furloughed. Therefore, shipments requiring action on their part will be affected by the shutdown. Expect delays.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will operate at the ports as normal during the shutdown since the wildlife inspection program is funded by user fees and not appropriated funds. However, issuance of Import/Export Licenses and Designated Port Exception Permits (DPEP) will be suspended during the shutdown.

CBP is planning to have conference calls every Monday and Wednesday at 1:00 PM EST for the duration of the shutdown. We will join those calls and keep everyone updated should the current state of affairs change. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Chris Reynolds

About the Author
I got my first job at Amazon because of my German language skills from my Master’s in History. Take that, people who said I’d never get a good job with my liberal arts degree! I soon learned that I’m not good at taking orders and started my MBA coursework at Seattle University.

I worked at Amazon for 8 years, as a liaison for law enforcement in Fraud/Transaction Risk, a quality and compliance manager in Product Compliance for Amazon Brands and imports globally, and lastly, managing hardware for Website Availability. I love the flexibility that working for clients on Amazon rather than for Amazon affords me.

In my not significant free time, I do fiber crafts such as spinning, crocheting, and embroidery, and I have been in a community band since 2009, playing French Horn, Trombone, or Euphonium depending on the band’s needs that season.

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