U.S. Federal Government Shutdown

In the wake of the U.S. federal government shutdown, life science companies question how it may affect their critical shipments of clinical supplies and biological lab samples.

Currently, Marken is not experiencing any significant delays in processing import or export entries at U.S. ports. Besides customs, our primary concern relates to the services provided by government agencies involved in critical, healthcare shipments. Specifically, the review & release of entries that require additional scrutiny by FDA, USDA, Fish and Wildlife (CITES), and CDC.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is prioritizing the movement of cargo during the ongoing partial federal government shutdown, but a number of its other trade-related functions have been put on hold.

The following information on the current status of these services has been provided by CBP officials and members of the trade community.


  • Customs & Border Protection (CBP) employees still working, including Centers of Excellence & Expertise (CEE) directors and assistant directors, entry specialists, import specialists, Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures staff.
  • CBP has halted work on rulings (though the eRulings portal is still accepting requests), regulatory audits, and refunds (e.g., drawback, protests, post-summary corrections, though interest will eventually be paid where applicable).
  • CBP is still enforcing deadlines for the trade community (e.g., protest and drawback claims, CF 28/29 responses, Enforce and Protect Act duty evasion proceedings, audits) but its own responses may not be held to normal timelines.
  • Food and Drug Administration trade functions such as prior notice processing are continuing to operate.
  • Problems related to changes in the HTSUS for reporting units of measure cannot be resolved at this time because both CBP and ITC staff who handle this issue are furloughed.
  • CBP is not capable of processing the Section 301 tariff exclusions recently approved by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative or addressing additional exclusion requests and will issue further instructions after the shutdown ends.


Marken remains vigilant as the situation develops. Our main main focus is to maintain product integrity in transit and keep our clients informed.

Back to Index