CASAS International Operations
During the Coronavirus
Dear Valued Casas International Customers,
We are living in unprecedented times and hope that this notice finds you healthy and doing well.
We have been monitoring the rapidly evolving Coronavirus COVID-19 situation and are prepared to continue business as usual in order to provide you and your team with the support and services needed. You can count on us to continue to do our best in all ways possible while prioritizing the safety of our employees, your service needs, and that of our community.
In an effort to prioritize the safety of our employees while also servicing all of our clients, we have:
- Increased our building and office sanitizing protocols, adhering to San Diego County’s COVID-19 Disinfection Guidance.
- Prepared our team to work from home. Key operational staff have laptops, secure VPN connectivity, secure cloud-based data and communications, mobile phones with office rerouting, and all necessary support to provide you with the U.S. Customs clearance of your shipments along with any other brokerage services required.
- Reviewed and tested our cybersecurity configurations. Employees working remotely will use our secure VPN to ensure the privacy and protection of your documentation and information.
- Committed to staying open even if and when the border closes.
We are confident that the measures we have put into place will enable us to continue serving you with the level of support and service expected from our team.
Our sincerest appreciation for your continued loyalty and support. Stay tuned to operational bulletins as to what news we can share on CBP operations and any other news from vetted and reliable sources. This too shall pass!
You can subscribe to the NCBFAA email list here. They are sending out daily COVID information that is relevant to the entire Trade community.
- DHS COVID-19 webpage
- CBP COVID Relief Imports Page
- CBP Covid-19 Updates page
- CBP Cargo Systems Messaging Service for updates
- FEMA Coronavirus rumor control
- CDC COVID-19 website
- Johns Hopkins COVID-19 heat map
- WHO COVID-19 webpage
CSMS #42364745 – Information on New COVID-19 Relief Imports Web Portal
Due to the high volume of inquiries received in the COVID-19 Relief Imports email inbox, CBP is migrating to the COVID-19 Relief Imports Web Portal. The web portal has been established to replace the email address for all cargo inquiries related to the importation of medical supplies to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It provides an interactive experience for the user to review pertinent information and allows for the submission of a direct inquiry to the COVID-19 Cargo Resolution Team (CCRT).
While monitoring the inbox, the CCRT has been responding to many similar questions regarding the importation of various PPE and critical medical supplies. To alleviate some of the common questions, the web portal will have basic guidance uploaded to a FAQ section and valuable information in other areas of the site. CBP will continue to update the portal and upload important information on a daily basis. The web portal can be found at https://imports.cbp.gov/.
CSMS #42439611 – CBP processes for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Exemptions from the Temporary Final Rule (TFR) Published in the Federal Register on April 10, 2020.
Link to the updated memorandum.
On April 21, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published in the Federal Register a notice of exemptions from the allocation order issued through a Temporary Final Rule (TFR) published on April 10, 2020. The intent of the allocation order is to ensure that materials subject to the Presidential Memorandum (PM) regarding allocating certain scarce or threatened personal protective equipment (PPE) materials (covered materials) remain in the United States for use in responding to the spread of COVID-19, and to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting such covered materials overseas.
Covered materials are defined in the FRN which can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/21/2020-08542/prioritization-and-allocation-of-certain-scarce-or-threatened-health-and-medical-resources-for and may be summarized as:
- N-95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators,
- Other Filtering Facepiece Respirators (N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, or P95, P99, P100),
- Elastomeric, air-purifying respirators and appropriate particulate filters/cartridges;
- PPE surgical masks,
- PPE gloves or surgical gloves,
Pursuant to the allocation order, FEMA may review shipments of covered materials and, subject to certain exemptions, determine whether to (1) purchase some or all of the shipment through a Defense Protection Act priority-rated order, (2) return some or all of the shipment for domestic use, or (3) allow some or all of the export to proceed.
Covered materials that are being exported and that fall into one or more of the exemptions described below may proceed immediately for export as scheduled.
- Shipments to U.S. Commonwealths and Territories, Including Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Including Minor Outlying Islands).
- Exports of covered materials by non-profit or non-governmental organizations that are solely for donation to foreign charities or governments for free distribution (not sale) at their destination(s).
- Intracompany transfers of covered materials by U.S. companies from domestic facilities to company-owned or affiliated foreign facilities.
- Shipments of covered materials that are exported solely for assembly in medical kits and diagnostic testing kits destined for U.S. sale and delivery.
- Sealed, Sterile Medical Kits Where Only a Portion of the Kit is Made Up of One or More covered materials That Cannot be Easily Removed Without Damaging the Kits.
- Declared diplomatic shipments from foreign embassies and consulates to their home countries. These may be shipped via intermediaries (logistics providers) but are shipped from and consigned to foreign governments.
- Shipments to Overseas U.S. Military Addresses, Foreign Service Posts (e.g. Diplomatic Post Offices), and Embassies.
- In-Transit Merchandise: Shipments in Transit through the United States with a Foreign Shipper and Consignee, Including Shipments Temporarily Entered into a Warehouse or Temporarily Admitted to a Foreign Trade Zone.
- Shipments for Which the Final Destination is Canada or Mexico.
- Shipments by or on behalf of the U.S. Federal Government, including its Military.
In addition, the export of covered materials from shipments made by or on behalf of U.S. manufacturers with continuous export agreements with customers in other countries since at least January 1, 2020 are exempt, so long as at least 80 percent of such manufacturer’s domestic production of such covered materials, on a per item basis, was distributed in the United States in the preceding 12 months. FEMA and CBP are working to establish a process to identity the manufactures that qualify for this exemption.
In order to qualify for exemptions 2, 3, 4, 8, and 9, FEMA requires a letter of attestation, submitted via the document imaging system (DIS). For these exemptions, the exporter, shipper or their agents should present the letter via DIS, on company letterhead, signed by a responsible company official, including:
- a description of which exemption(s) the exporter is claiming;
- details regarding the shipment that are sufficient for the CBP and FEMA officials to determine whether the shipment falls under the claimed exemption(s), including the required information identified in the Federal Register notice published on April 21, 2020;
- a statement that the provided information is true and accurate to the best of the exporter’s knowledge, and that the exporter is aware that false information is subject to prosecution under the DPA, as outlined in the allocation order.
Regarding exemption 9, the letter of attestation must state that the covered materials are for use in Canada/Mexico, and will not be transshipped through those countries and for exemption 8 it largely applies to goods temporarily entered into a bonded warehouse or Foreign Trade Zone with the intent to leave the US.
In order to avoid detention of shipments, letters should be uploaded in DIS at the same time as the Electronic Export Information (EEI) is transmitted in the Automated Export System (AES).
When submitting to DIS, filers have the following options to transmit:
- Electronically through secure web services, file transfer protocol, or messaging queue.
- By Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Successful submissions will receive an automated ‘submission status email’ indicating Success or Failure. Technical guidelines for electronic or e-mail submission are available at www.cbp.gov/ace-dis
For questions about the process or specific shipment issues contact utilize the COVID—19 Exports Intake at https://imports.cbp.gov/s/. Select the Export Cargo Hold/Facilitation Assistance button.