During a recent meetings with U.S. Customs and Border
Protection from Port Everglades and PortMiami/SCC with members of the
FCBF Board, the budget sequestration (automatic government spending
cuts divided equally between defense and non-defense spending) to begin
on March 1st was discussed for its potential
impact to the trade community. Due to the budget cuts, CBP
has advised that overtime will be significantly reduced and possibly
eliminated reducing CBP's flexibility to maintain or extend operating
hours. This could result in cargo processing and examination delays due
to limited staffing resources at the port and airport. Possible
employee furloughs could go into effect as soon as April 1st.
Services for In-bonds and Perishable Cargo Clearances
Friday extended hours eliminated
Saturday & Sunday overtime eliminated
RPM gate - no
change in hours of operation
Entrance and Clearance overtime request will be significantly reduced.
Currently no direct impact to normal business hours
M-F 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Real impact will be on overtime where most of the cuts have been
they still have some funding still available.
Priority will be given to perishables: Passengers and Ag. Products (below
points are largely dependent
on the furloughs)
For public safety reasons, passengers will be given priority although
they will also see delays
Second priority will be agriculture/perishables
Cargo arriving outside normal business hours may experience delays to
the following business morning (including weekends rolling over to
Estimated delays in cargo processing at the port may delay from
1 day to 2-4 days
Document processing may delays from 30 minutes to several hours
Furloughs are still not clear but the earliest they may affect is
approximately mid-April due to
This may coincide with slack season for the cruise ships that
transition in this period and so that might help alleviate delays.
Depending on needs there may be redistribution of personnel to areas
that are most needed.
Zone employees to the Port to attend to Cruise passengers
Econo/CIPS employees to cover Zone/Port
CBP will update on a local level as issue are made more clear and they
are asking for input in order
to attend to the public needs
CARGO: File early, call early- The earlier notification is given to
CBP, the quicker and more efficiently they can manage.
The brokerage and
forwarding community should advise their customer base to expect delays
in the very near future should the sequestration actually go into
Please note that
it is important that the TRADE community understands the CBP does have
employees working 7 days a week and 24 hours per day.
does not affect the normal working hours of the employees, but their
ability to provide services on Overtime or with bringing staff in on
The FCBF will
provide more information from CBP and other affected government
agencies, as it becomes available to us.
information please you can visit U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano in a written testimony before the Senate
Committee on Appropriations hearing titled "The Impacts of