On September 6th Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) released a statement regarding cargo processing during the upcoming hurricane. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, diversion of cargo to open ports was a key factor in allowing trade to continue to operate in the face of the closures of Texas and Louisiana seaports.

CBP will permit ocean vessels to divert from their intended port to another port for discharge. CBP requests that ocean manifests be amended and new destination ports be alerted. CBP will not issue penalties for violations arising from port diversions during the hurricane.

The projected path of Hurricane Irma appears that it will cause disruptions to ports in Puerto Rico and Florida initially. Depending on Irma’s path, additional ports in the Southeastern U.S and even the Mid-Atlantic States are preparing for possible severe conditions. CCS will be monitoring the situation and make changes to the process as appropriate to ensure that trade into the U.S. continues to operate during this weather event.