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CBP Guidance on Cargo Processing for Ports Affected by Gulf Coast Hurricane

(Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has provided the following guidance on entry and entry summary filing for cargo aboard ships that have been forced to divert from their intended ports of unlading due to Hurricane Harvey.

Affected ports include Port Arthur (2101), Houston (5301), Galveston (5310), Freeport (5311), and Corpus Christi (5312), where commercial trade operations have been suspended through at least Sept. 1. CBP states that it intends to work with the impacted trade community during this time to mediate or resolve entry summary processing issues.

Vessels. To ensure smooth processing of bills of lading and associated status notifications in the new port of unlading, carriers should amend the manifest to reflect the new port of unlading.

All ships that divert from impacted ports, and those that have already diverted, should advise CBP of the diversion port via OFO-MANIFESTBRANCH@CBP.DHS.GOV.

In a related phone call, CBP said the Food and Drug Administration is not requiring any changes to prior notifications for diverted goods. However, CBP is still waiting for guidance from the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies.

CBP also said that for cargo diverted from Houston to Mexico and then trucked into the U.S. the entry will need to be canceled and a new entry filed using the truck manifest. Click here to read more.