In response to transportation needs arising during this pandemic, a number of US agencies have announced changes to their typical rules to keep cargo moving around the country. Whether by waiver of deadlines, scaling back of foreign oversight or a suspension of hours of service requirements, the agencies are working to remove blocks to the service providers hauling cargo by trucks and planes. This week, we’re bringing you an update of their changes to keep you informed on the progress as it happens.
On March 20, 2020 the US Customs and Border patrol announced they’d be allowing a deferred duty payment schedule on a case by case basis to bolster imports in light of the Coronavirus; however, on March 26th CBP declared “(a) notify the trade community that CBP is no longer accepting requests for additional days for payment, and (b) provide guidance to Brokers (including brokers that made requests on behalf of importers), Importers and Sureties on processing the universe of entries affected by the previous message. CBP will retain the right to allow additional days for narrow circumstances, including a physical inability to file entry or payments, due to technology outages or port closures.”
While that does end the open process of applying for deferments, they’re still willing to explore issues on a case by case basis for the reasons stated above and are monitoring the situation to offer assistance where needed to businesses impacted adversely by the Coronavirus pandemic. Other agencies are working to ease the burden of working through the Coronavirus pandemic. The FDA announced the scaling back of foreign inspections in both China and India. The FDA is also waving the FDA regulations on anything related to COVID-19 provided it’s for personal use. But we stress that commercial shipments must follow the regulation for importers and manufacturers and there are no exemptions.
The FMCSA has given a waiver to drivers with expiring CDLs or CPLs and waives the need for a CPL driver to have a CDL driver with them. As more cargo moves through ports these exceptions will give more drivers the chance to be on the roads, helping. This waiver is in addition to the March 13th nationwide hours of service waiver that the FMCSA has applied to all covid-19 related shipments through at lease April 12, 2020.
The FAA has exempted flight crews from renewing their medical certifications until June in light of the pandemic and to avoid overburdening the health care system with non-essential medical appointments. The USTR will be making this announcement in the Federal Register on April 1st to confirm and the exemption only applies to crews operating in the United States and doesn’t wave those taking prescriptions or with current documented medical issues flying.
While news gets better and worse day by day, we’re happy to keep bringing you the most current information available regarding where and how federal agencies are working to cope with the changes coming from services related to logistics during the pandemic. While we remain working, we encourage everyone to remain diligent to all safety and commonsense necessities. We’re all in this together!