Exporters and the Shutdown

2019/01/31

The US Government was shutdown for 35 days and it affected approximately 800,000 federal workers, nine departments and several agencies. As many export compliance professionals may have noticed, The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and The US Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) were all affected by the shutdown.

All guidance from these departments was very limited, meaning questions went unanswered as most compliance officers received out of office replies citing the shutdown. The Department of Commerce’s free Consolidated Screening List tool was even shutdown for a few days, leaving exporters to find alternate ways to screen their customers. The BIS licensing portal, Simplified Application Process-Redesign (SNAP-R) was also unavailable. DDTC’s DTrade portal which is used for requesting and receiving license requests, was automatically rejecting new submissions, and the DDTC’s daily pick-up and drop-off service was cancelled.

With the government now funded for a short period of time (3 weeks to be exact), OFAC, BIS and DDTC will resume operations as usual.

DDTC issued the following statement: Priority will be placed on issuance of licenses in the system at the time of implementation of lapse of funding operations on December 22, 2019. New licenses will be accepted; however, industry is advised of the likelihood of longer than normal processing times due to the high volume of licenses DDTC expects to receive. The “Emergency License” process described in DDTC’s December 22, 2019 announcement below is hereby suspended.

DDTC Full Notice: https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/?id=ddtc_public_portal_news_and_events