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CBP COVID-19 Updates and Announcements

Coronavirus graphic

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal, state, and local agencies to support the whole-of-government effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe.

Please visit coronavirus.gov and USA.gov/coronavirus for official government-wide information and CDC.gov/coronavirus for health-related updates about COVID-19.Visit DHS.gov/coronavirus for homeland security updates and FEMA's website to distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBP Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Announcements 

CBP COVID-19 Information

General

What is CBP doing to safeguard its employees/personnel during this pandemic?  

In order to minimize exposure to COVID-19, the CBP workforce is using social distancing to the maximum extent possible. CBP has ensured that personnel who cannot telework have ready access to Personal Protective Equipment and comprehensive guidance for the use of that equipment. CBP is taking every precaution to keep our workforce, their families and the American people safe while still accomplishing the CBP mission.

What specific protective equipment is CBP providing to agents and officers?

CBP has provided extensive guidance to all of its employees regarding the risk-based use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE recommendations range from gloves to N95 respirators, eye protection, disposable outer garments and more based on infectious disease risks, job functions, and job settings. CBP has also issued sanitary guidance to its facilities specifically to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CBP Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Overall, CBP has had 1766 federal employees test positive for COVID-19.  9 have unfortunately died as a result of the virus.

CBP Employees

Location

Confirmed Cases*

Alaska

1

Alabama

1

Arizona

202

California

267

Colorado

1

Columbia

1

Florida

155

Georgia

29

Illinois

10

Indiana

4

Ireland

1

Louisiana

9

Maine

1

Maryland

5

Massachusetts

6

Michigan

19

Minnesota

4

Missouri

1

Montana

3

New Jersey

36

New Mexico

31

New York

114

North Carolina

7

North Dakota

1

Northern Mariana Islands

1

Ohio

2

Pennsylvania

6

Puerto Rico

3

South Carolina

53

Texas

738

U.S. Virgin Islands

4

Virginia

30

Washington

7

Washington, DC

11

West Virginia 

2

Total

1766

As of August 2, 2020

Service of Process

Due to the on-site staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, effective immediately and until further notice, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Chief Counsel is not accepting personal service of process for actions against the Agency or its personnel in their official capacity. Please refer to CBP's service of process procedures for additional information.

Featured Articles

CBP Hosts Second Virtual COAC Meeting during COVID-19 Pandemic - As the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge worldwide, CBP's trade advisory group forges ahead - July 22, 2020

Keeping Trade Flowing - How CBP and its partners are operating full speed ahead during the pandemic - July 1, 2020

Decentralized Training and Mobile Scanning Equipment Yield Successes - Mission success during a global pandemic requires adaptation and creativity - June 10, 2020

A Full Plate - CBP continues to process tons of food imports every day, even while COVID-19 throttles back other cross-border travel - May 1, 2020

Continued Vigilance in the Skies and on the Waters - During the COVID-19 epidemic, CBP’s Air and Marine Operations crews create social distance … and more chances to intercept the bad guys - April 28, 2020

DHS Acting Secretary and Acting CBP Commissioner Address COAC at Virtual Meeting during COVID-19 Pandemic - April 24, 2020

Protecting America Against an Invisible Enemy - CBP dons personal protective equipment to safeguard workers and Americans- March 30, 2020

Trade Announcements and Advisories

This webpage does not serve as a substitute for official trade notice websites, such as the Federal Register, CBP’s Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS), Customs Bulletins, etc. The information on this webpage is subject to change as new information becomes available and is meant as an additional resource for the trade community.

Deferment of Duties during COVID-19 response (with FAQs)

Treasury and CBP Announce Deferment of Duties and Fees for Certain Importers during COVID-19 Response - President Trump signed an Executive Order on April 18 to provide additional economic support for U.S. businesses, including critical supply chains for U.S. manufacturers, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order gives the Administration the flexibility to allow for a 90-day deferment period on certain payments for importers who have faced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Pursuant to this authority, the Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection today are issuing a joint Temporary Final Rule.

This payment flexibility will be available only for importers with a significant financial hardship and will apply to payments for goods imported in March and April. Imports subject to duties associated with antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD), and Section 201, 232 and 301 Trade Remedies are not included in this relief effort.

COVID-19 90-Day Duty Postponement Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Cargo Resolution Team (CCRT)

Imports.cbp.gov - CBP has added a new tool to easily find answers to COVID-19  FAQs on admissibility, cargo hold and facilitation, personal protective equipment import guidance, classification, and duties. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Submit a question of your own!

In an effort to coordinate inquiries regarding the import of medical supplies and personal protective equipment, CBP's Pharmaceuticals, Health and Chemical Center of Excellence and Expertise has established the COVID-19 Cargo Resolution Team (CCRT).  This team is a multidisciplinary team to triage incoming inquires, coordinate with affected ports, and respond directly as appropriate. Imports.cbp.gov will be used as CBP’s coordinating mechanism for receiving and responding to inquiries concerning the items below items.  Assigned staff will also coordinate with the ports and other government agencies to ensure that legitimate shipments are not unnecessarily delayed.

Types of inquires that should be submitted via the import.cbp.gov Contact Request Form are:

  • Facilitation requests from other government agencies and private industry, and
  • General inquiries regarding the import of medical instruments.

CSMS Messages Related to COVID-19

Trade Program Updates and Announcements

Consumer Awareness for COVID-19 Safety guidelines - U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to help you and your family stay healthy and safe. Some foreign online sellers may be taking advantage of American consumers by charging high prices for counterfeit or substandard sanitation products and safety equipment. Be aware before you buy.

Customs Broker License Exam (CBLE)Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, CBP has canceled the April 1, 2020 CBLE. Individuals that registered for the April 1, 2020 CBLE will receive refunds for their application fee of $390.00. These refunds will be provided to all registrants automatically. CBP will continue to provide additional information concerning the CBLE in future CSMS messages.  If you have questions or comments, you may email the broker management branch via brokermanagement@cbp.dhs.gov.

WCO Releases HS Classification Reference for COVID-19 Medical Supplies - Guidance from the World Customs Organization (WCO). 

Cargo Security Program Updates and Announcements

CTPAT 2020 Seminar - originally scheduled for March 30 - 31, 2020, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has been postponed until further notice.  CBP has suspended all CTPAT travel due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. 

Regulations and Rulings

Temporary Postponement of Duties, Taxes, and Fees due to COVID-19 -  the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the designee of the Secretary of Homeland Security (U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)), is amending the CBP regulations to temporarily postpone the deadline for importers of record with a significant financial hardship to deposit certain estimated duties,taxes, and fees that they would ordinarily be obligated to pay as of the date of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, for merchandise entered in March or April 2020, for a period of 90 days from the date that the deposit would otherwise have been due but for this emergency action. 

The National Commodity Specialist Division is accepting binding ruling requests. To submit requests via eRulings and for updated guidance, visit https://erulings.cbp.gov/s/. Please note: delays may occur in processing due to COVID-19.

Regulatory Audit and Agency Advisory Services

Regulatory Audit and Agency Advisory Services (RAAAS) in the COVID-19 environment continues to conduct audits while following CDC health and safety guidelines. Given the preventative risk mitigation measures, both domestic and international, such as social distancing, avoiding group meetings, travel restrictions, shelter in place, and telework environment, as result of the pandemic, please feel free to contact your audit point of contact provided to discuss alternative options to continue the stages of your audit via virtual meetings, technology and secure file transmission protocols we are in the process of implementing to address the audit challenges in the COVID-19 environment.

Alternative Recordkeeping

RAAAS continues to support the advanced notification of intent to convert original customs records into an alternative method of storage as defined in 19 C.F.R. § 163.5(b)(2).  For quicker response and communication method during the COVID-19 protocol, please send your communication and notices to the following email address: CBPRECORDS@CBP.DHS.GOV.

Partner Government Agencies COVID-19 Information

This section contains links to PGA COVID-related information that could impact CBP trade operations. Please reference and bookmark these links. CBP will update this list as additional information become available.

 

PGA Codes Related to COVID-19

 

PGA Covid-19 URLs

PGAsWebsite
USDA-AMShttps://www.usda.gov/coronavirus
USDA-APHIS
USDA-FSIS
CPSChttps://www.cpsc.gov/
EPAhttps://www.epa.gov/coronavirus
FDA

Information for Filing Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Devices During COVID-19 -  https://www.fda.gov/industry/importing-covid-19-supplies/information-filing-personal-protective-equipment-and-medical-devices-during-covid-19

FDA Medical Device Emergency Use - https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations

Fraudulent COVID-19 Test Kits - https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/beware-fraudulent-coronavirus-tests-vaccines-and-treatments

Unauthorized Fraudulent Test Kits - https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-alerts-consumers-about-unauthorized-fraudulent-covid-19-test-kits

FMChttps://www.fmc.gov/
FWShttps://fws.gov/
NHTSAhttps://www.nhtsa.gov/
NOAAhttps://www.noaa.gov/
TTBhttps://www.ttb.gov/

 

Travel Announcements and Advisories

Trusted Traveler Program Updates (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment

Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of minimizing exposure and controlling the spread of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak, all US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers will suspend operations until at least September 8, 2020. This temporary closure includes all public access to Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST enrollment locations. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience through this process. Enrollment on Arrival remains operational at participating airports.  

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Updates

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) - Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993 and 9996 temporarily suspend the entry into the United States of most individuals, other than U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, who were physically present in mainland China, Iran, Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the Schengen Area in the 14 days preceding their attempted entry. Any traveler with a valid ESTA who is subject to the Proclamations and who attempts to travel the United States in violation of the Proclamations will have their ESTA canceled. ESTA will not refund applications that are canceled due to the Proclamations. Travelers who have questions about whether they are subject to, or exempted from, the Proclamations should refer to the Proclamations and consult with the U.S. Department of State and the air carrier, as appropriate, in advance of travel to avoid travel disruptions. For more information, please visit the ESTA website.

Carrier Liaison Program Updates

Carrier Liaison Program: Coronavirus Guidance - Effective at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on February 2, 2020, in accordance with the January 31, 2020, Presidential Proclamation titled, “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures to Address this Risk,” the entry into the United States of all aliens, with certain exceptions, who have been physically present in the People’s Republic of China (excluding the special autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau), during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, is suspended.

e-SAFE Biometrics Processing and Forms I-192 and I-212 Collection

e-SAFE Biometrics Processing and Forms I-192 and I-212 Collection - In the interest of minimizing exposure and controlling the spread of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak, effective March 21, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Admissibility Review Office temporarily suspended, at the designated CBP ports of entry (POE), the collection of Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant, Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal, and the mandatory biometrics capture for electronic applications filed via e-SAFE.  This suspension will effect applicants applying at POEs along the Northern Border and Preclearance locations in Canada for non-essential travel. The suspension effective from May 21, 2020 through June 22, 2020 has been extended for another 30 days through July 21, 2020 11:59pm EDT, or until revoked.  Applicants who’ve applied via e-SAFE are encouraged to monitor their e-mail and the e-SAFE website for updates.  CBP will continue to monitor the situation in order to resume biometrics capture and I-192/I-212 applications processing at the POEs as soon as possible.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience through this process. Additional information for essential travel is available at https://federalregister.gov/d/2020-13676. More information about e-SAFE is available at https://e-safe.cbp.dhs.gov/

Visa Waiver Program Updates

CBP Offers Flexibility to Departing Visa Waiver Program Travelers - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced April 17, 2020 that Visa Waiver Program travelers who have been granted satisfactory departure may now apply for an additional 30-day extension of their admission period if they remain unable to depart the United States because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). These travelers may apply for the additional satisfactory departure period by contacting: (1) any local CBP Port of Entry or Deferred Inspection Site; or (2) the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Contact Center. Travelers should be prepared to provide their passport number when submitting their request. 

Air Carrier Submission of CBP Form 7507

June 16, 2020

Effective immediately, and for the duration of the pandemic or until further notification, U.S. Customs and Border Protection  (CBP) will permit the owners and operators of commercial aircraft to submit CBP Form 7507 via e-mail at ports of entry nationwide.

CBP is offering this flexibility to commercial air carriers to promote social distancing and minimize the exposure of air carrier and CBP personnel to COVID-19. Air carriers may submit CBP Form 7507 via e-mail for both arriving and departing commercial aircraft for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To exercise this option, the owner, operator or representative of the commercial aircraft must contact the port of entry at which their aircraft will arrive or depart to obtain the applicable email address and instructions from CBP.  Port of entry contact information may be found on CBP.gov.

CBP recommends that air carriers protect all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) sent via e-mail.  Federal government standards for the use of encryption can be found on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s website.

CBP 7507, also known as the General Declaration, is a form that the owners or operators of commercial aircraft submit to CBP to provide basic flight itineraries, passenger and crew information, and other information about the arrival and departure of aircraft entering or exiting the United States.  This accommodation is not intended to and does not amend or supersede any current regulations.