Government shutdown holds up export licenses

Once the export control agencies are back in operation, it could take weeks for their staffs to dig out from the backlog of license requests.

Government shutdown holds up export licenses

Once the export control agencies are back in operation, it could take weeks for their staffs to dig out from the backlog of license requests.

Government shutdown holds up export licenses

Once the export control agencies are back in operation, it could take weeks for their staffs to dig out from the backlog of license requests.

 
It’s radio silence for U.S. exporters attempting to get answers on the status of pending export license applications during the ongoing federal government shutdown, now in its 12th day.
    Export licenses are handled primarily by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), in addition to agencies with export control oversight in the Defense and Energy departments.
    BIS also has been forced to put other export control requests, such as classification requests, encryption reviews and registrations and advisory opinions, on hold during the shutdown.
    “This means that no applications that were pending prior to the shutdown have been further processed and any new applications will not be reviewed until the government shutdown has stopped,” said Paul DiVecchio, principal of Boston-based export control consultancy firm DiVecchio & Associates.
    In particular, he said BIS’ halt in processing license applications and other requests has placed a significant administrative burden on the export compliance operations of many of his clients.
   DiVecchio said even if the federal government received budget relief from Congress and restored operations on Friday, it will take BIS, DDTC and other export control agencies weeks to work through the license backlog. BIS, for example, processes about 2,000 applications a month.
    The last time that U.S. exporters experienced a similar administrative backlog in the federal government regarding export licenses and requests occurred during the 17-day shutdown in October 2013.
    “Suffice to say that exporters who need these licenses from Commerce and State operate in an extremely competitive global marketplace and these types of delays only harm our exports and economy at large,” said Eric Hirschhorn, who served as undersecretary for industry and security and head of BIS during the Obama administration.
    “Obviously, it’s going to take some time to clear out the license backlog,” he added. “BIS is already stretched thin.”
We are already far beyond the optimum capacity limits in the terminals below the locks, with serious consequences for efficiency. We therefore continue to insist that additional container capacity below the locks is urgently needed.
THE Alliance — ACL/StreamLines - Transatlantic Loop 2-AL2 has increased the total transit time from 28 days to 35 days.  The AL2 removed the vessel Shanghai Trader  and added Brevik Bridge and Berlin Bridge , increasing capacity by 3,998 TEUs or 20 percent while remaining a weekly service.
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