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90-Day Hardship Postponement of Duties, Taxes and Fees for U.S. Importers

On Monday, April 20, 2020, the Secretary of the Treasury and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in Cargo Systems Messaging Service 42423171 that they would be postponing for 90 calendar days the payment of duties, taxes and fees for importers experiencing a significant financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and that meet the specific guidelines below.

Applicable Entries

This postponement applies to March 2020 and April 2020 formal entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption (including entries from a Foreign Trade Zone).

Excluded Entries

The temporary postponement does not apply to any entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, where the entry summary includes merchandise subject to one or more of the following:

  • Antidumping duties
  • Countervailing duties
  • Duties assessed pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962
  • Duties assessed pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974
  • Duties assessed pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974

Important Notes

  • No interest will accrue for the postponed payment.
  • No penalty, liquidated damages or other sanctions will be imposed due to late payment.
  • The deadline does not apply to deadlines for the payment of other debts or bills to CBP.
  • The timeframe for entry summary filing is not changed.

Significant Financial Hardship Eligibility

Importers will be considered to have significant financial hardship if they meet BOTH of the following:

  • Importer operations are fully or partially suspended during March 2020 or April 2020 due to orders from a competent governmental authority limiting commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19.
  • Gross receipts of such importer for March 13-31, 2020, or April 2020 are less than 60% of the gross receipts for the comparable period in 2019.

Eligible importers do not need to file documentation with CBP; however, they must maintain documentation as part of their books and records establishing that they meet the requirements for relief.  CBP may conduct a review of the documentation at a future date to ensure compliance.

Payment Time Frames

Estimated duties, taxes and fees paid on single pay basis or Daily Statement may be postponed up to 90 days from the payment due date.

Example:

Original Due Date90-Day Postponement
April 30, 2020July 29, 2020

Estimated Internal Revenue Service tax paid via the deferred tax schedule may be postponed up to three months from the payment due date.

Examples:

Original Due Date3 Month Postponement
April 29, 2020July 29, 2020
May 14, 2020August 14, 2020

Estimated duties and fees paid via Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) may be postponed up to three months, as defined by the 15th working day of the third month.

Examples:

Original Due Date3 Month Postponement
April 21, 2020July 22, 2020
May 21, 2020August 21, 2020

Payment Instructions

CBP will not be adjusting statement dates.  Importers are fully responsible to schedule payments accordingly.  Any adjustments to the April PMS must be made prior to 11:59PM eastern time on Monday, April 20, 2020.

What to do today, April 20, 2020

  1. Confirm that you meet the significant financial hardship eligibility guidelines.
  2. Identify all formal entries without any of the exclusions.
  3. Identify all shipments and daily and periodic statements affected.
  4. Notify your ACE filer / customs broker in writing that you meet the significant financial hardship eligibility guidelines and to move out payment due dates only for eligible entries and statements by 11:59PM Eastern Time on Monday, April 20, 2020.

For more information, please contact your local Noatum Logistics USA (Formerly MIQ Logistics) representative.