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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

COVID19 Impact on Imports Growing

April 6, 2020

COVID19 Impact on Imports Growing

Ocean carriers continue to report a decline in demand for containers on the Asia – USA route and expect this trend to consider well into the summer months. Carriers continue to blank (cancel) sailings meaning that even with the decreased demand delays are still possible if not likely. Importers are encouraged to book early to help make certain their containers move as scheduled.

One carrier reported that crew members on one of their vessels on the Trans-Pacific route tested positive for the virus. This raises concerns that US ports may take steps to prevent the spread of the virus from ship crew to US based terminal workers. The added concerns in this area could mean longer times to unload vessels that arrive in US ports meaning transit time delays.

COVID19 Impact on the US Portion of the Supply Chain

US Administration officials have indicated that the next few weeks could be among the worst that the US has faced so far. As the virus spread impacts supply chain providers such as warehouses, terminal operators and truckers delays should be expected. Importers should stay in close contact with their supply chain partners to understand the latest situation and the impact on their import shipments.

Companies Seeking to Import COVID19-focused Medical Devices Facing Challenges

While the US FDA has loosened restrictions on the import of some medical devices the influx of companies trying to import medical devices without experience and knowledge regarding FDA rules and regulations can mean a greater risk of delays and added costs. The FDA is watching for counterfeit medical devices (N95 masks, ventilators, etc) and has already seized a number of shipments. Importers should be certain that they only deal with reputable suppliers to reduce the risk of issues with the FDA. Importers who are not familiar with the FDA regulations should seek advice from a consultant or attorney before attempting to import these types of items.

We are here to answer any specific questions you may have and to offer guidance and assistance –

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