"CBP and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are expected to issue formal guidance in coming days on the recently announced export ban on personal protective equipment, a CBP official said during an April 16 conference call. "It's undergoing final U.S. government review before publication," he said. "There's still discussions being held at the highest levels in terms of some of the points. We're hoping we can get this resolved today." A recent internal CBP memo about the ban has created confusion around the issue.
The April 9 CBP memo, which listed multiple exclusions to the ban, was released "by mistake," he said. Currently, "all export shipments of PPE are being, not necessarily examined, but are being looked at to determine whether or not they can be reallocated back into the U.S. commerce," he said. "There are various criteria we are using for that. At this point we cannot talk about any of that criteria" until a Federal Register notice is released on the subject.
The notice will come from FEMA, he said. CBP is working "with FEMA to be the front end of this process, but ultimately the decisions and policy are FEMA's. So, we are working with them to try to decide what they want to look at, and then working to get it examined, go through a process and then make a determination whether it can export or reallocate. That is the process that we are working through. It's already up and running. We are trying to turn around any shipment we do detain relatively quickly." The recently announced CBP web portal for COVID-19 imports will soon have an exports section, too, he said."