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Statement by FMCS Director George H. Cohen on East Coast Ports Labor Negotiations

Federak Mediation and Conciliation Service  /

(Release date 12/24/12) WASHINGTON, D.C. — “FMCS Director George Cohen has called a meeting of the ILA and the Maritime Alliance in advance of the December 29th expiration of the contract extension. The parties have agreed to attend. Due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations FMCS will have no additional comment at this time.”

Longshoremen, Employers Resume Talks in Hopes of Avoiding Strike /

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Procedures for Vessel and Cargo Entry Processing During Trade Disruptions

Potential Trade Disruption – East and Gulf Coast Vessel Ports

U.S. Customs & Border Protecdtion /

Summary: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in cooperation with trade stakeholders, is establishing procedures for events that cause major delays and diversions of vessel cargo arriving and departing the U.S. CBP will continue to demonstrate its commitment to the restoration of port operations for affected areas by using its authority and resources to facilitate the movement of cargo caused by events out of CBP’s control. CBP’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) is working with all field locations to update contingency plans so all affected seaports can resume vessel operations and entry processing of freight as quickly as possible.

Procedures: The following are general vessel, cargo, and entry guidelines developed in cooperation with trade stakeholders and incorporating CBP system limitations identified during the recent disruptive events. These instructions should assist the trade stake holders in developing contingency plans for the possible diversion of vessels and cargo scheduled for discharge at U.S. ports. Trade members should work closely with local CBP port management to ensure compliance with all CBP policies and procedures. These procedures are only applicable during the disruptive event. CBP will publish a notice when these interim procedures are terminated and normal processing resumes.

CBP Unified Business Resumption Messaging

  • CBP will provide the trade community instant alerts and up-to-date information if an event occurs that could delay the flow of trade through a port of entry on the public CBP Unified Business Resumption site ( CBP UBRM ) . CBP will provide up-to-date information on CBP's operational readiness and processing status.
  • CBP will transmit information through the Cargo Systems Messaging Service ( CSMS ) . CSMS is augmented by an e-mail subscription service which provides timely notification of new messages based on each or any combination of item groups.
  • Affected CBP ports will designate a point of contact (POC) for trade inquiries regarding specific procedures for each port. The POC information will be disseminated by the CBP port and posted on the CBP Unified Business Resumption Messaging site.

Vessel in Port with Cargo Destined for Subsequent U.S. Port(s) and Discharged or Vessel Diverted to Another U.S. Port and Discharged:

  • Vessel carriers will amend the diverted bills to indicate the new port of unlading.
    • Vessel carriers may initiate in-bond movements for the foreign-origin cargo allowing for inter-modal transport of the goods to the intended U.S. port(s) for processing by CBP. No change to the entry is required. CBP at the in-bond port of destination will manually post any pre-filed entries against the in-bond number to close out the in-bond movement.
    • Entry filers have the option of deleting the pre-filed entry and filing a new entry reflecting the in-bond number or
    • Entry filers have the option of deleting the entry and re-filing an entry at the port of discharge.
  • When a shipment receives a “Documents Required” message for merchandise requiring FDA examination, coordination with FDA must be made to determine the examination location. In some instances, FDA may grant a conditional release to allow the movement to an importer’s premises, provided the location is permitted by FDA..
  • Carriers will receive electronic messages for entries including Remote Location Filing (RLF) entries.
  • When a shipment covered by an entry (including RLF entry) is designated for a security or agriculture examination, it will be performed at the U.S. port of vessel arrival and discharge. The entry filer will need to contact the examining CBP port and provide documentation requested to facilitate the examination and release of the cargo.
  • When a shipment covered by an entry (including RLF entry) is designated for compliance examination, the shipment may be transferred under bond to the intended U.S. port for examination. The entry filer will need to contact the CBP port where the cargo was discharged to determine if the merchandise can be transported in-bond and the examination conducted at the CBP port of destination.
  • In all instances where an entry is filed at the intended U.S. port and the vessel diverts to another U.S. port, the entry summary must be filed at the intended U.S. port within 10 working days.
  • The 10-day entry summary clock will begin once the vessel has arrived at a subsequent U.S. port of arrival, the shipment is discharged, and entry is filed.
  • CBP will work with its partner government agencies that have oversight responsibilities for import and export shipments to keep those agencies informed of any port disruptions. CBP will distribute this plan to its partner agencies to generate dialog towards common sense solutions that address regulatory requirements for shipments affected by the disruption.

Vessel Diverted to Foreign Port, Cargo Discharged and Arriving in the U.S. by Other than Vessel

  • All bills of lading, Importer Security Filings (ISF), and entries filed against those bills need to be deleted (not cancelled), unless entry summary has been filed and monies paid, in which case the entries would need to be cancelled.
  • New entries will be filed at the appropriate port of entry for merchandise entering the U.S.
  • Entry filers for shipments subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements must request deletion and a new Bio-Terrorism Act (BTA) submission should be transmitted along with the new entry for those FDA-regulated shipments.
  • A new prior notice will be transmitted to FDA for shipments requiring prior notice.
  • The entry filer should contact staff at the intended CBP entry filing port to obtain detailed instructions for submitting a deletion list.
  • Entries should be removed from the statement.

Vessels Diverted to a Foreign Port, Discharged, and Reloaded for Discharge to Original Destination Port by Vessel

  • If there is No Change to the Bill of Lading - When a vessel is diverted to a foreign port and U.S. destination cargo is unladen, and then reloaded for movement to the original destination port by vessel using the same bill of lading, no change to the bill of lading, entry, or ISF will be needed. The original entry will be processed with the new arrival date.
  • If the Bill of Lading Number Changes:
    • The ISF filer will amend the ISF to add the new bill of lading number retaining the original bill of lading number.
    • CBP at the U.S. port of discharge will manually post the entry to the new bill of lading. Entry filers have the option of deleting the entry and filing a new entry reflecting the new bill of lading number.

Vessels Diverted to Foreign Port or Another U.S. Port and Not Discharged:

  • When the vessel is diverted to a foreign port of entry but not discharged, no change is needed to the bill of lading, ISF, or entries.
  • The arrival date for the vessel will reflect the date the ship returns to the intended U.S. port to be offloaded.

Vessel Arrives at First U.S. Port and Rests at Anchorage:

  • Carriers must continue to provide advance notification to local CBP ports of their pending arrival (CBP Form 3171).
  • When a vessel arrives at a U.S. port (within CBP territory) and comes to rest, whether at anchor, a dock or harbor, carriers must notify local CBP vessel processing personnel.
  • Carriers and vessel agents should maintain close communication with local CBP port vessel processing office or designated POC for sharing information, updates, instructions, and port specific guidance.
  • While a vessel rests at anchor, the entry summary must be filed within 10 working days at the port where the entry was filed. CBP will work with carriers on a case-by-case basis to “reset” the ACE M1 conveyance arrival date and time at the first U.S. port to pushback the entry summary date to more closely reflect the actual date/time the vessel begins to unlade and lade cargo.
  • To alleviate the backlog of vessels at anchorage within CBP port limits, CBP ports will initiate formal vessel entry and clearance processing in order to facilitate docking as terminals are re-opened.

Firearm Seized From NEXUS Cardholder in Detroit

U.S. Customs & Border Protection  /

Detroit, Michigan - U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) officers announced the seizure of an undeclared shotgun from a U.S. citizen participant in the NEXUS trusted traveler program.

On Monday, December 17, CBP officers at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel discovered a Remington 12 gauge shotgun along with ammunition during a primary trunk inspection in the NEXUS lane. The driver and legal owner of the firearm did not declare any goods upon arrival and told the officer after the discovery that he forgot that the gun was in the trunk. The weapon was seized by CBP officers and the infraction resulted in the subject’s immediate removal from the NEXUS program.

“Participation in the NEXUS program provides a unique privilege of a higher level of trust for members,” said Roderick Blanchard, Detroit port director. He stated further, “All violations will result in removal from the program.”

Travelers who participate in the NEXUS program are afforded expedited processing when crossing the U.S.-Canada border. As participants in one of CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs, travelers enjoy a higher level of trust and confidence in regards to security when crossing the border, and violations of this trust will not be tolerated.

 December 20 –Temporary Flights Restrictions Will be in Place Over the Washington, DC Area for the Presidential Inauguration Festivities on January 21, 2013.

Flight Advisory (pdf)

 Dulles CBP Arrests New Yorker on Heroin Charges

Second Smuggling Attempt from Nigeria Thwarted in Two Weeks

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Sterling, Va. — Less than two weeks after arresting an alleged Nigerian heroin smuggler at Washington Dulles International Airport, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested a New York man returning from Nigeria on heroin smuggling allegations Thursday.

According to court documents, Customs and Border Protection officers referred Michael Babatunde Ayodele, 19, from Queens, N.Y., for a secondary inspection after Ayodele arrived Jan. 16 aboard a flight from Nigeria via Kenya and Zurich, Switzerland. During his secondary inspection, CBP officers detected inconsistencies in his story about allegedly visiting family in Nigeria. Ayodele requested to use the restroom during this inspection, and reportedly passed 55 thumb-sized pellets that field-tested positive for heroin. CBP officers then transported Ayodele to a local hospital where Ayodele passed an additional 31 pellets, which also f ield-tested positive for heroin.

The 86 pellets had a combined weight of 1,089 grams, or more than 2 pounds, 6 ounces, and an approximate street value of about $78,000.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia is prosecuting Ayodele.

CBP officers arrested Ayodele 13 days after they arrested Nigerian Adekunle Titus Adetokunbo, 61, for attempting to smuggle 446 grams, or nearly 16 ounces of heroin from Nigeria via Ghana Jan. 6. For more on that arrest, please access our news release.

“These continuing heroin smuggling attempts from Africa raise serious concern for Customs and Border Protection officers,” said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington, D.C. “We’re hopeful that these arrests send a strong signal that CBP officers are proving successful at detecting internal concealment methods, and that we’re serious about inte rcepting this deadly poison before it can reach our communities.”

CBP officers turned Ayodele and the suspected heroin over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents. ICE HSI agents continue their investigation.

CBP routinely conducts random inspection operations on arriving and departing passengers searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.

The charges and allegations contained in the criminal complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

CBP placed a detainer on Ayodele for him to be returned to CBP upon adjudication of his charges.

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