(Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations other than cargo processing could be slowed as early as this coming weekend unless Congress votes to continue funding the Department of Homeland Security. Lawmakers approved a one-week extension of DHS appropriations late Feb. 27 amid an effort by Republicans to prevent enforcement of the immigration-related executive orders that President Obama issued in late 2014.
According to various sources, CBP is expected to continue normal cargo processing operations in the event DHS funding runs out, including work by import and entry specialists. CBP also intends to continue authorizing overtime at West Coast ports to help decrease cargo-related congestion.
However, a number of other customs-related operations are likely to be suspended, including the following:
- responses to trade fraud
- audits and targeting for antidumping and countervailing duty and intellectual property rights violations
- work on classification rulings
- issuance of customs broker licenses
- distribution of filer codes
- trade compliance activities
- administration of import licenses and programs
- technical support for the Automated Commercial Environment (though development would continue)
- Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism validation and revalidation activities
- training of CBP officers
- actions on detained import and export cargo
- processing of quotas