Thank you for all of your support with this current challenge we are enduring with NHSTA.
I have been working with US Customs, the DOT, and NHSTA to determine when this new program came into effect and why Escape Trailer Industries or their broker was not notified of the upcoming change.
Although, many of you have apologized on behalf of your government I believe we face miscommunication between departments whenever changes are made. Regardless if it is a large government organization or even in our own home organizing family activities. Fundamentally, I agree with the reasoning behind the Foreign Manufacturer's Registration requirements which is to stop uncertified vehicles entering the US. Many of which have been 'written off' in an accident and rebuilt but are not able to pass inspection.
When this program was enforced earlier this week I don't believe the US DOT was able to plan for all of the possibilities they would encounter. I believe all departments have been inundated with inquiries which is why they are currently targeting specific border crossings and not others. Yes, we could change the border crossing we use however, I would not want to risk the trailer being impounded by US Customs.
Everyone I have spoken with over the past week within each department has done their best to provide me with the required information however, as a new program many of the individuals I spoke with did not have the correct information I required.
All of the required documentation has been submitted as of Thursday and on Friday we were told we may be able to begin exporting trailers by Monday. However, due to different definitions with each department surrounding the definition of a US Agent. We were denied our request.
I am not a patient person especially given the circumstances and I have been speaking with the US Customs Officers at the Sumas, WA border crossing on a daily basis. Ultimately until we show up in their system or they receive written consent from NHSTA we cannot import trailers.
After some 'strong' discussions this morning
...I do not recommend anyone challenging their customs officer when he gives you his opinion
(Lets just say I won't be crossing the border for a little while)
We have agreed to wait until Monday when the Chief of Importation is back in his office to continue our discussions.
The good news is that we are not the only company enduring this plight. Customs informed we are one of six companies they have refused entry to this week and by Friday two of those companies had been processed. Which would suggest that instead of a six week wait we are hoping for a one week wait.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.