Products subject to export control licensing and development of Customs and Border Protection's new automated system for processing imports and exports are among the casualties of the U.S. government's partial shutdown, caused by the stalemate in Congress over short-term spending.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security posted a notice on its Website Thursday saying that it is no longer accepting export license applications, classification requests, encryption reviews, encryption registrations, or requests for advisory opinions on how to comply with export rules, and that any pending requests "will be held without action" until the shutdown ends.
The SNAP-R application on BIS's Website is also not available.
Applicants may request emergency processing of export license applications for national security reasons by submitting e-mail requests to Matthew Borman
, the deputy assistant secretary for export administration. The subject line of the e-mail should read, "Request for Emergency License," and the e-mail must identify the applicant (including point of contact), intermediate and ultimate consignees, and end user(s), items, end use, and national security justification for the emergency processing.
The State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls is still operating normally as of Oct. 4.
Meanwhile, an incremental deployment of new functionality for CBP's Automated Commercial Environment scheduled for the end of this week is expected to be delayed. Some managers and personnel assigned to the ACE program are among the 6,000 employees furloughed on Tuesday.
CBP has 58,000 employees.
Last November, CBP ditched its game plan for advancing the ACE program, which has stretched out for more than a dozen years at a cost in excess of $3.1 billion, took more hands-on oversight and switched to an Agile software development strategy that emphasizes the frequent release of smaller pieces of functionality instead of holding related pieces of software until everything is complete and can be bundled into a single release.
Deployment A, the first release under the Agile process, includes many technical additions that support the system behind-the-scenes and some minor changes related to cargo release. It also begins the process of integrating the discrete message set that will be transmitted to other government agencies once ACE becomes the single portal for traders to submit documentation government-wide. Initially, certain data for the Environmental Protection Agency and certificates for the Food Safety Inspection Service will now be accepted in ACE.
Work on ACE has not completely halted as contractors are continuing with programming, according to industry sources.