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
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 387 federal employees test positive for COVID-19. 5 have unfortunately died as a result of the virus.
U.S. Virgin Islands
As of May 21, 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.
Academies Closed, but Learning Continues - Trainees and instructors at CBP’s training academies get lessons on patience and perseverance during COVID-19 pandemic - May 13, 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
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 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
- CSMS #42459926 - CBP.gov Frequently Asked Questions for 90 Day Postponement of Payment for the Deposit of Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees - 04/22/2020
- CSMS #42421561 - COVID-19 – Payment Instructions for 90-Day Postponement of Payment for the Deposit of Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees - 04/19/2020
- CSMS #42423171 - COVID-19 – 90 Day Postponement of Payment for the Deposit of Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees - 04/19/2020
- CSMS #42364745 - Information on New COVID-19 Relief Imports Web Portal - 04/14/2020
- CSMS #42355785 - Email Correction: Processing International Donations for COVID-19 Response - 04/13/2020
- CSMS #42320854 - Processing International Donations for COVID-19 Response - 04/09/2020
- CSMS #42283516 - Entry Summary, Payment and Post-Release Processing of Trade Activities Due to COVID-19 - 04/06/2020
- CSMS #4231420 - Launching of CBP’s COVID-19 Updates and Announcements Webpage 04/01/2020
- CSMS #42179313 - Additional Guidance for Entry Summary Payments Impacted by COVID-19 - 03/27/2020
- CSMS #42161666 - Additional Guidance for Entry Summary Payments Impacted by COVID-19 - 03/26/2020
- CSMS #42124872 -Information for Filing Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Devices During COVID-19 - 03/23/2020
- CSMS #42118616 - Reminder: Update on FDA’s Import Operations During The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak - 03/23/2020
- CSMS #42097586 - Additional Days for Payments due to COVID-19 - 03/20/2020
- CSMS #42080103 - Denver Port (3307) Office Closing - 03/19/2020
- CSMS #42049352 - Updated- GUIDANCE: Section 301 Tranche 4A - $300B Second Round of Product Exclusions from China (9903.88.42) - 03/17/2020
- CSMS #42049352 - GUIDANCE: Section 301 Tranche 4A - $300B Second Round of Product Exclusions from China (9903.88.42) - 03/17/2020
- CSMS #42048963 - GUIDANCE: Section 301 Tranche 3 - $200B Tenth Round of Product Exclusions from China (9903.88.41) - 03/17/2020
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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
Travel Announcements and Advisories
DHS COVID-19 Related Media Releases
Trusted Traveler Program Updates (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment - Effective March 20, 2020, 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 June 1, 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 April 21, 2020 through May 20, 2020 has been extended for another 30 days through June 22, 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/2020-08605. 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.