U.S. Customs and Border Protection has launched a Frequently Asked Questions page in response the to 90-day duty postponement announced by President Trump on Sunday. The page is available on CBP’s website, located at www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/frequently-asked-questions-90-day-postponement.
Limited Eligibility to Qualify for the Duty Deferral
The deferral applies to formal entries of goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, including entries from foreign-trade zones, in March or April 2020.
To qualify, importers must have had their operations fully or partially suspended in March or April due to COVID-19-related orders from a competent governmental authority and, as a result, have gross receipts for March 13-31 or April that are less than 60% of their gross receipts from the same period in 2019. While importers do not need to file additional documentation to be eligible for this relief, they must maintain documentation establishing compliance as part of their books and records, and CBP may conduct post-entry reviews or audits to ensure compliance.
The deferral does not apply to any goods subject to antidumping, countervailing, section 201 (e.g., clothes washers and solar products), section 232 (e.g., steel and aluminum), or section 301 (e.g., imports from China) duties. If a shipment contains both goods that are eligible for the deferral and goods that are not, CBP anticipates that importers will file two separate entries.
The deferral does not apply to the payment of other debts to CBP, including (1) bills for duties, taxes, fees, and interest determined to be due upon liquidation or reliquidation, (2) fees under 19 USC 58c (except merchandise processing fees and dutiable mail fees), or (3) any penalty or liquidated damages due to CBP.
Importers and filers are responsible for scheduling payments accordingly. CBP is deploying updates to the ACE SU statement transaction to provide importers and filers more flexibility when removing entries from a PMS, including:
- No longer requiring entries removed from the statement to be submitted as single pay and allowing entries removed from one statement to be rescheduled for another;
- Allowing remote location filing entries to be removed from a PMS and scheduled for another statement; and
- Allowing importers and filers to schedule the month further out than two months to avoid further pushing the periodic daily statement date.
It is important to note that CBP will not return deposits of estimated duties, taxes, and fees that have already been paid.
Additionally, CBP will not adjust statement dates.
Interest and Penalties
CBP will not assess interest during the 90-day deferral period or impose any penalty, liquidated damages, or other enforcement actions on appropriately deferred entries.