Business Recovery Operations Post Los Angeles/Long Beach Labor Strike
Summary: From November
27 to December 4, 2012, the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 63 Office Clerical Unit workers (OCU) at the port of Los Angeles-Long Beach (LA/LB) walked off the job, shutting down all cargo movement. Subsequently, vessel operators opted to anchor in the harbor or divert to alternate locations. On December 4, 2012, this labor dispute was resolved and port operations were restored on Wednesday, December 5, 2012.
Response: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations in Los Angeles/Long Beach is committed to support the restoration of Port operations in LA/LB, specifically with the secure entry processing of international freight. To alleviate the backlog of vessels that are anchored in the harbor, CBP Los Angeles is conducting vessel boarding’s to initiate the entry/clearance requirements so these vessels can dock at terminals as they opened.
CBP Los Angeles is maintaining close communications with its Trade Partners, specifically; Terminal Operators, Shipping Lines, Brokers/Freight Forwarders, and Centralized Examination Stations (CES) to assess the status of recovery operations and adjust as necessary. CBP Los Angeles is:
• Allowing for flexible boarding request(s) to include anchor boardings in preparation of arrival/discharge.
• Extending gate hours of operation at all terminals to include “Hoot Owl” shifts from 0300 to 0800 hours, if necessary.
• Extending internal Watch Commander work tours to address questions or concerns from the Shipping Community.
• Providing additional CBP personnel to accommodate Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) appointments at the terminals.
• Deploying additional CBP personnel at terminals with high alarm rates at the Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) sites.
• Providing additional CBP personnel to staff the Trade Interface Unit (TIU) to accommodate inquires from the Trade.
• Extending operating hours at the CESs to support increase demands of cargo examinations and cargo releases.
As a result of the strike, 17 foreign container vessels were diverted from LA/LB: The latest information indicates:
• 6 diverted to Mexico;
• 10 diverted to Oakland (none to discharge LA/LB freight); and
• 1 diverted to Panama
Vessel Diverted to Foreign Port and Discharged (CSMS 12-00534): When a vessel opts to divert to a foreign port of entry to discharge freight, all bills of lading and pre-filed entries need to be deleted (not cancelled) unless summary has been filed and monies paid, in which case the entries need to be cancelled. New entries must be filed at the Southern Border port of arrival for those shipments. Deletion requests should also be filed for entries subject to Food and Drug (FDA) and a new Bio-Terrorism Act (BTA) submission should be sent along with the new entry for the FDA shipments to be filed at the Southern Border. The deletion requests must be sent to the Trade Interface Unit at: email@example.com.
Brokers that have multiple entries that were unloaded in Mexico can submit one request for all entries using an Excel spreadsheet. If you use an Excel document, list your entry numbers without any dashes (442-1234567-8 should be shown on the report as 44212345678). The Excel report should be sent to TIU via email with a header of “Diversion Deletions”. Under these special circumstances and to make sure that these requests are acted on quickly copy your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org . CBP has assigned additional staff to TIU and the selectivity site to assist in moving entries as quickly as possible as the Trade works to recover from this work stoppage.
Vessels Diverted to Foreign Port Not Discharged (CSMS 12-00534): When the vessel is diverted to a foreign port of entry but not discharged, no change is needed to the bills of lading or entries. The arrival date for the vessel will reflect the date the ship returns to LA/LB.
Vessels Diverted to Oakland Not Discharged: Our understanding is that all vessels diverted to Oakland intend to return to LA/LB. If no LA-bound freight is discharged in Oakland, no change is needed to the bill of lading or pre-filed entries. The arrival date for the vessel will reflect the date the ship returns to LA/LB.
Vessel Diverted to East Coast Location: In the event that a vessel diverts through the Panama Canal to discharge at an east coast port, the bills of lading must be updated to reflect the proper port code. Any pre-filed entries will need to be cancelled and re-filed with the appropriate port code.