U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is keenly aware of the interruptions caused by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and will be operating with maximum efficiency to keep ports open and operating.
At this time, the port of Morgan City is closed and other ports, including New Orleans are operating under limits imposed by power, fuel and availability of personnel. It is recommended that local questions be directed to the ports as they have the most accurate and up-to-date operational picture for the area. Also, we recommend that mariners monitor the U.S. Coast Guard operational updates to identify openings and traffic restrictions. Finally, terminal operations in the area should be monitored as their operations may be impacted by the current situation.
CBP recognizes that the current extraordinary weather situation created by Hurricane Ida may cause many ocean vessels to divert from their intended port of unlading to other port locations for discharge purposes. To ensure smooth processing of bills and associated status notifications in the new port of unlading, CBP reminds the carriers that they should amend the manifest to reflect the new port of unlading. This action will ensure that the automated terminals at the new port of discharge will receive the appropriate notifications. Ports should not penalize carriers for Trade Act violations caused by diversion of cargo. When diverting to another port, please send the new destination port to: OFO-MANIFEST@CBP.DHS.GOV. For those ships that have already diverted, CBP asks that the new port also be sent to the same mailbox. Entries that have already been filed will not usually need to be amended.
The following scenarios have been identified as most likely diversion scenarios:
Scenario 1: At the time of the diversion, both the entry and summary have already been filed at the original port, nothing needs to be done with either the entry or summary.
Scenario 2: At the time of the diversion, a certified summary had already been filed at the original port, nothing needs to be done with the certified summary.
Scenario 3: At the time of the diversion, the entry had already been filed at the original port, but the summary had not been filed. In this case, it is recommended to file the summary using the same entry port as the entry was filed.
Scenario 4: At the time of the diversion, neither the entry nor summary had been filed at the original port. In this scenario, both the entry and summary will be filed at the new (diverted) port.
Scenario 5: In lieu of diversion to a domestic port, the cargo is offloaded at ports in Mexico or Canada for routing into the U.S. via rail or truck. In this scenario, manifests will need to be provided by border carriers in the appropriate systems, original entries destined for original U.S. ports will need to be canceled and refiled for the new land border port or an in-bond move will need to be requested to move the cargo to the port of entry.
CBP Officers have been instructed to avoid issuing liquidated damage claims against overdue in-bonds due to general supply chain issues and will continue with that policy until conditions ease.
Export filers should be aware of any changes to the transportation data including date of export and port of export and be ready to amend as appropriate. Export license expiration dates should also be checked to ensure current validity. Any issues with licenses should be directed to the issuing agency.