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Further Customs Guidance on Vessel Diversions for Hanjin Shipping Lines

Posted September 14, 2016

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released an update to its previously issued notification providing additional guidance on how to handle vessel diversions for Hanjin Shipping Lines cargo.

The additional scenarios covered by the update include situations where:

  1. Entry has been filed, cargo has been released by CBP but terminal operator will not allow it to leave the terminal due to payment issues. Importers are requesting entry cancellations to avoid payment of duties etc. based on the 10 day entry summary clock.
  2. Cargo for export has been loaded on board a foreign flagged vessel at a U.S. port. Vessel is now at a subsequent U.S. port and to avoid issues, the exporter/carrier is requesting permission to unload the export cargo in the United States.

In the first instance, CBP indicates that the 10-day entry summary clock can be suspended by placing the entry on a “documents required” hold, which can be removed once the terminal grants release and proof is provided to CBP via the Document Image System or other means to be determined by the ports.

Regarding the second scenario, CBP states that such unloading would violate the Jones Act which regulates coastwise trade within the United States and therefore it cannot grant waivers. It adds, however, that while only the Department of Homeland Security can grant such a waiver for national defense reasons, CBP can mitigate when there are “exigent circumstances”.

Click here to read the updated CBP notification.