The pandemic is causing a shortage of warehouse space, particularly space in customs bonded warehouses, as importers seek to defer paying duties on incoming product that they cannot use or sell while the country is in lockdown. In addition to trying to find space in a bonded warehouse or Foreign Trade Zone, a strategy for some importers has been to refrain from filing a customs entry altogether, letting the cargo go to a General Order bonded warehouse, where the importer will later claim the cargo when he needs it.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is aware of the problem and is looking at potential ways to open up additional warehouse space by expediting the bonded warehouse approval process. One idea is to allow existing customs bonded warehouse proprietors to apply for a temporary extension of the bonded warehouse space at other locations. While no specific plan has been determined, CBP is exploring possible options.