Southern Currents 21-024 was issued by CBP New Orleans to update ans consolidate previous notices regarding temporary entrance and clearance procedures that are currently in place due to COVID-19.
Given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of COVID-19 within the United States and globally, the Area Port of New Orleans comprising the Ports of Baton Rouge, Gramercy, Lake Charles, Morgan City and New Orleans, will temporarily modify normal procedures to provide vessel agents the ability to process vessel entrances and clearances via email.
Vessel agents may still enter and clear vessels via established processes (in person) at each seaport. As a reminder, facial coverings (masks) are required in all federal port offices.
All other vessel entrance and clearance procedures such as lade order submission, delays in departure requests, timelines, New Orleans Tri-Port processes, etc. remain in effect.
In order to best accommodate ALL vessel agents in New Orleans the following revisions to procedures implemented in March 2020 will be implemented:
- CBP needs a four (4) business-hour window to process a vessel entrance and/or clearance submitted via e-mail. Example: Agent submits entrance via email at 1400 hours on 02/09/21, marine division closes at 1600 hours on 02/09/21 and reopens at 0730 hours on 02/10/21. CBP should have completed paperwork returned to agent by 0930 hours on 02/10/21; four (4) business hours. Errors submitted on paperwork WILL extend the four (4) business hours turnaround.
- CBP is processing entrances and clearances daily, including holidays. Vessel masters/agents are required to submit formal entry paperwork to CBP within 48 hours, per Federal Regulations in 19 CFR §4.3(a) and 19 USC §1434 (a). Weekends and holidays count when calculating the 48 hours.
Vessel agents MUST ensure that all CBP forms are completed without errors. Failure to submit completed forms, or the submission of forms with errors, will result in delays and may result in denial of entrance and clearance of a vessel via email.
Temporary entrance and clearance procedures will remain in effect until a rescind notification is issued to the trade community. Temporary entrance and clearance procedures are not intended to establish a new practice by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but to provide a temporary process to vessel masters/agents to minimize impact or spread of COVID-19.
Effective immediately, a vessel master or vessel agent may choose to email a complete entrance or clearance manifest package to a CBP Port of Entry Marine Division in Louisiana. A complete manifest package includes required vessel documents such as the vessel: Registry, International Tonnage Tax Certificate, Load Line Certificate, Bareboat Charter, Continuous Synopsis or Bridge Letter, CBP 368 and Tonnage Tax Receipts, Complete and Accurate CBP Forms: Approved 3171, 1300, 1303, 1304, I-418 and any other relevant documents required to effect an entrance and clearance of a vessel. All documents must be submitted as a pdf. file attached to an email.
It is recommended that vessel agents maintain paper copies of email-submitted CBP forms 1300, 1303, 1304, I-418, (entrance and/or clearance).
Area Port of New Orleans Marine Division Group e-mail addresses:
- New Orleans: email@example.com
- Gramercy: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Baton Rouge: email@example.com
- Lake Charles firstname.lastname@example.org
- Morgan City: email@example.com
E-mail subject Line should be as follows: COVID-19 E&C: “vessel name”
If multiple emails are submitted for the same vessel because of too many or too large pdf. files attached, simply annotate (1) (2) (3) etc. after the vessel name.
The CBP Marine Division granting formal entrance will sign, seal and return the CBP Form 1300 to the vessel agent as a pdf. file attached to the original email. The amount due to CBP will be indicated on the CBP Form 1300.
Vessel user fees and tonnage tax payments may be mailed to the port granting formal entrance (certified mail, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.) with a tracking number, or submitted in person.
Payment MUST be made within 48 hours after formal entrance is granted.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 423 Canal Street
Suite 186 – Seaport
New Orleans, LA 70130
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 110 N. Airline Avenue
Gramercy, LA 70052
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 5353 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 16819 E. Main Street
Cut Off, Louisiana 70345
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 152 Marine Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Tracking numbers for payments should be shared equally between CBP and vessel agents to ensure proper delivery and receipt of payment. When providing payment, ensure that the vessel name and shipping agent’s Tax Identification number are included on the check.
Once CBP receives the payment, a mobile cash receipt or a paper form, 368 receipt, will be forwarded to the vessel agent.
The owner or operator of the vessel maintains the responsibility of submitting payment as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours after formal entrance is granted.
Customhouse: Mail does not come directly to the New Orleans Marine Division. All mail for the Customhouse is delivered in bulk and then sorted and delivered to various offices throughout the building. When someone from CBP signs for mail (express courier or certified U.S.P.S.) it is NOT someone at the marine division receiving the mail. With this said, please continue to submit payment within 48 hours of formal entrance.
While the Marine Division may not receive the actual mail within 48 hours, if the payment is submitted via mail (express courier or certified U.S.P.S.) within 48 hours there is no issue with CBP; the agent is compliant in submitting payment timely. For CBP New Orleans Purposes, the date that the payment is submitted via mail (express courier or certified U.S.P.S.) is the date CBP New Orleans uses for submission because express courier and certified U.S.P.S. mail packages are tracked.
- Payments may be dropped off at the Customhouse in the Marine Division vestibule/foyer.
- Always place the payment in an envelope and be sure to annotate the vessel name and vessel agency on the
The CBP Marine Division granting clearance will sign, seal and return the CBP Form 1300 to the vessel agent as a pdf. file attached to the original email.
These procedures do not apply to the submission of export documents, CBP form 1302A, or export bills of lading via email. These document may be submitted via certified mail, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. during COVID-19 response.
Export Manifest Submissions / Cargo Declarations for Incomplete Clearances: OPTIONS
- Vessel agencies/carriers that are approved to submit export manifests (cargo declarations) via the document imaging system [DIS] should continue to do so. No changes.
- Export manifests may be dropped off (clocked-in) at the port office or Customhouse Marine Division vestibule /
- As a temporary procedure during COVID-19 response, Export Manifests / Cargo Declarations may be submitted via mail (express courier or certified U.S.P.S.) within four (4) business days (Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are not business days and as such do not count) of vessel clearance. If the export manifest / cargo declarations are submitted via mail (express courier or certified U.S.P.S.) within four (4) business days of vessel clearance there is no issue with CBP; the agent is compliant in submitting the manifest timely. For CBP Area Port of New Orleans purposes, the date that the export manifest / cargo declarations are submitted via mail (express courier or certified U.S.P.S.) is the date CBP New Orleans uses for submission, because express courier and certified U.S.P.S. mail packages can be tracked.
CBP New Orleans is NOT able to accept e-mail submissions of export manifests / cargo declarations.
Relocation of “Drop Boxes:” In order to maximize social distancing throughout the Customhouse ALL paperwork dropped off for the Marine Division may be placed in the appropriate trays/boxes located in the Marine Division/Seaport Vestibule/Foyer.
Questions comments and concerns about this notice may be directed to Assistant Port Director Mark Choina at firstname.lastname@example.org