by | Oct 17, 2013 | Indicators, Resources

by Peter Quinter, guest columnist

Even as agreement was being reached to re-open the federal government, the shutdown scored another hit on trade: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on its website and to all registered attendees that it has postponed the East Coast Trade Symposium, previously scheduled for October 24-25, 2013, in Washington, DC.

The CBP blames the “protracted lapse in appropriations” for impacting “our ability to prepare for and commit the resources necessary to hold the event as planned.” The agency promises to host the event at a later date, and to process refunds to registrants once the government is back up and running.

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cancelled its planned educational seminars in Miami and Long Beach on the Food Safety Modernization Act. There is a critical need for members of the international trade community to understand the intricacies of the foreign supplier verification programs and the accreditation of third-party auditors/certification bodies to conduct food safety audits before the final rules of FSMA go into effect.

As a customs and international trade attorney, I can attest that the shutdown has had significant impact upon my and my client’s international trade business.

The Commerce Department has not been processing export violations; the FDA has not been conducting as many inspections of imported food products; the attorneys at CBP in Washington who process ruling requests and make recommendations for the release of seized property and penalties have not been at work; the attorneys at the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have not been at work on export control violation cases … and so on.

There has been a deficit of leadership from Congress and the administration. I believe trade statistics will ultimately demonstrate the negative impact that the shutdown has had on the economy.

Please call or email me with any questions or comments at [email protected] or (954) 270-1864.

Copyright © 2013 GrayRobinson

This column is based on material that originally appeared in the GrayRobinson Customs and International Law Blog, which is edited by Peter Quinter and covers a range of legal and regulatory issues related to trade. Subscribe at

Meet Peter QuinterNovember 19-20 at the US Customs Compliance Bootcamp in Washington, DC where he’ll be speaking on resolving CBP penalties and investigations, and leading hands-on working groups on maximizing duty savings under FTAs.

About Peter Quinter

Peter Quinter, GrayRobinsonThe Datamyne Blog’s legal contributor is a shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices, and chair of the firm’s Customs & International Trade Law Group. Appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to the Florida District Export Council, Quinter is a recognized expert in international and trade law, listed in “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of FDA Law.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views or Descartes Datamyne. In addition, this article is for general information purposes only and it’s not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and my not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely on this article without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.

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