At midnight last night, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives could not come to an agreement on the U.S. budget for the coming fiscal year which has resulted in a government shutdown. The following is an explanation of how the government shutdown affects importers and exporters.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, functions that are essential to the protection of human life or property are exempt from the government shutdown, including passenger processing and cargo inspection functions at ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection should remain open during the government shutdown. However, employees that are considered to be ‘non-essential’ will most likely be furloughed. Importers and exporters may face some delays clearing customs.
The Department of Transportation will be partially closed. The FAA will remain nearly fully functional, including air traffic controllers. The Federal Maritime Commission will completely shut down.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau will be partly shutdown. Alcoholic beverage importers and exporters looking to obtain licenses and label approvals should expect to wait until the end of the government shutdown.
We will continue to monitor developments regarding the government shutdown and will post any updates.