UPDATE Jan. 28, 2019: As of today the “Government Shutdown” is over and Federal employees at all agencies are back to work. However, due to the several weeks of backlog, lengthy delays are anticipated for processing of outstanding or new permit applications. Borderview is doing all we can to keep our shipments moving forward and will be in touch with customers in-process as more details become available. Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to getting shipments out as soon as possible!
UPDATE Jan. 24, 2019: Today the U.S. Department of State (DDTC) announced that they would “temporarily return to full operational status with all electronic application systems placed in normal operational mode.” Borderview immediately submitted all export license applications that have been pending since the shutdown began on December 22nd, so they will be among the very first processed during this temporary re-opening. DDTC went on to say that “industry is advised of the likelihood of longer than normal processing times due to the high volume of licenses DDTC expects to receive.” We will closely monitor all progress and do all we can to keep shipments moving to our valued customers.
It should be noted that other import/export permit agencies including the U.S. Department of Commerce (BIS) and Department of Justice (ATF) systems remain offline and/or directly affected by the shutdown until further notice. DDTC processes export licenses for rifles and handguns, while BIS processes exports of sporting shotguns and optical scopes and the ATF processes permits for permanent import of firearms and related items into the USA.
With the United States Federal Government currently in a partial ‘shutdown’, you may be wondering how this affects the import/export of firearms. Here’s what you need to know:
Simply put, the government is not issuing any new permits or licenses for commercial (non-military / law enforcement) imports and exports of firearms and related items during the shutdown.
Permits and/or licenses that were already approved prior to the start of the shutdown (December 22, 2018) are valid and can be utilized with the normal proper declarations to Customs.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (“ATF”), which has jurisdiction over permanent import of firearm-related items to the USA, is accepting — but not processing — new applications for imports during the shutdown.
The U.S. Department of State – Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”), which has jurisdiction over permanent export of rifle and handgun related items from the USA, is not accepting new license applications, nor further processing applications that were in-process at the effective date of the shutdown.
The U.S. Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry & Security (“BIS”), which has jurisdiction over permanent export of shotgun related items from the USA, is not accepting new license applications, nor further processing applications that were in-process at the effective date of the shutdown.
Emergency licenses in support of U.S. and allied troops, as well as select other military / law enforcement licenses may be issued by any of these agencies during this shutdown.
Practically speaking, this means all commercial firearm import/export permits are on hold until the shutdown ends, or other arrangements are made which change the current reality described above. Borderview is communicating closely with our industry and government counterparts to ensure a return to normal operations as soon as possible and will post further updates as they become available.