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US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has issued a new directive that provides additional clarity from the previously issued Federal Register notice on April 10, 2020 that pertains to the export of PPE from the United States. 

The Temporary Rule, effective from April 7 until August 10, allocates “certain scarce or threatened materials for domestic use, so that these materials may not be exported from the United States without explicit approval by FEMA.” The rule specifies five types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will not be allowed to leave the United States without explicit approval by FEMA.

FEMA has defined what shipments qualify under the directive as well as the exclusions to the temporary final rule. 

Shipments that qualify under the directive are commercial quantities currently defined as shipments valued or $2,500 and containing more than 10,000 units of gloves, masks, or other PPE commodities. 

The following circumstances are also excluded from the directive:

  • Exports to Canada or Mexico; 
  • Exports to U.S. Government entities such as U.S. military bases overseas; 
  • Exports by U.S. Government agencies; 
  • Exports by U.S. charities; 
  • Exports by critical infrastructure industries for the protection of their workers;  
  • Exports by the 3M Company; 
  • Express or Mail Parcels that do not meet the commercial quantity definition above;  In-transit shipments. 

CBP will be using the EEI details that have been filed in AES to review all intended exports of products. CBP has the authority to detain these orders and then consult with FEMA as well as any other governmental agencies to review the particulars of the order.  Teams on the ground at the ports of air and ocean will oversee the review process.  When orders are placed into a “detained” status, the entire order will be detained until a complete review has been completed and a decision to a partial or full release has been granted, or if it is determined that the order must be returned back to the origin. 

Communication between the ports, governmental agencies, and all other parties involved is key to ensure that all parties involved can manage this new temporary rule for the next 120 days. 

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