On April 19, 2020, CBP released CSMS 42423171 announcing that the payment deadline for certain estimated duties, taxes, and fees would be postponed for 90 calendar days for importers experiencing a hardship attributable to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The definition of a significant hardship is specifically defined in the CSMS message. Although specific documentation is not required by the government, applicable documentation should still be maintained and may be required by your Customs broker.
Interest will not accrue on the postponed duties and fees, and CBP will not refund deposits of estimated duties, taxes, and fees already paid. This temporary postponement is available for formal entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption (including those from a Foreign Trade Zone) in March or April of 2020. However, the postponement does not apply to any entries where the entry summary includes merchandise subject to:
- Antidumping or countervailing duties,
- Duties assessed under Section 232, Section 201, or Section 301.
CBP is authorizing the submission of separate entries to allow for eligible goods to be submitted apart from ineligible merchandise falling under the above dutiable scenarios. The authorization only applies to entries that have not yet been filed.
Payment Timeframes & Instructions
CBP advised the following payment timeframes and examples:
- “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.
- Original Due Date: April 30, 2020 / 90-Day Postponement: July 29, 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.
- Original Due Date: April 21, 2020 / 90-Day Postponement: July 22, 2020.
- Original Due Date: May 21, 2020 / 90-Day Postponement: August 21, 2020.”
Additionally, CSMS 42421561 provided specific payment instructions. CBP has encouraged importers to use the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) as much as possible, but the 90-day deferment is available to entry summaries regardless of payment type. Importers/filers are responsible for scheduling the deferred payments accordingly. CBP will not adjust statement dates, and adjustments to the April periodic monthly statement (PMS) must be made before 11:59PM ET tonight, Monday, April 20, 2020. On April 19, 2020, CBP deployed updates to ACE to provide more flexibility to the PMS.
CBP’s FAQ (published on April 21st), Deringer’s FAQ, the temporary final rule, and “Executive Order on National Emergency Authority to Temporarily Extend Deadlines for Certain Estimated Payments” may provide additional clarity. However, questions can also be addressed to Deringer’s Compliance Department or an account manager.