Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sequester This

Sequestration will impact CBP's cargo operations – Expect U.S. border delays.

Due to the automatic federal budget cuts that took effect on March 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has indicated that it will reduce its work hours and cut overtime immediately. CBP estimates that there may potentially be delays up to several hours for truck shipments at land border crossings, passenger processing times may increase by about 50 percent, and there may be delays for container examinations of up to 5 days or more at major seaports.

CBP will continue to carry out border security operations consistent with all applicable legal requirements to ensure security will not be compromised, and mandatory examinations of perishable commodities and agricultural examinations will continue. Shippers who take part in CBP's efficient trusted trader and frequent trader membership programs for faster processing will also receive these same benefits during sequestration.

The sequestration could also hamper the agency’s implementation of the Automated Commercial Environment, a long-delayed cargo processing system. Gaining more funding in the fiscal 2014 budget is key to finishing up the system that acts as an umbrella for all Customs’ communications with importers, brokers and exporters. The federal sequestration could also slow the momentum of the Beyond the Border Initiative, an effort by U.S. and Canada to speed the movement of goods and people across the border.

Kirk Shearer
(800) 989-0054 x103

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