CBP delaying phase three of BTA enforcement

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Customs has delayed stage three enforcement of prior notice requirements for the Bioterrorism Act (FDA), due to kick in May 19.

CBP has yet to install programming changes for enforcement of the Prior Notice Bioterrorism requirements in its automated systems. The changes would have made failure to submit all mandatory Prior Notice (PN) data elements a cause for rejection by the Automated Broker Interface.

CBP and FDA anticipate moving the software changes into production after a few weeks of additional monitoring. CBP wants to use this time to better identify and quantify the percentages of shipments that have been receiving warnings and noting their possible affect on port operations.

But the delay of stage three enforcement doesn’t automatically mean the delay of the final stage of BTA enforcement August 12, CBP officials caution. PN filers should assume that phase four enforcement will begin on time on that date.

Filers should also be aware that PN submission periods before the shipment arrival should take into account any possible time needed to deal with corrections required, either by the ABI system or by FDA. Simply filing PN within the minimum two, four, or eight-hour window will not allow time to review, correct and submit corrected PN sufficiently in advance of arrival to avoid a PN refusal from FDA.

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