On April 18, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to postpone the payment of certain duties, taxes and fees for “importers suffering significant financial hardship because of COVID-19” for 90 days.

To be eligible, an importer must be able to demonstrate:

  • Full or partial suspension of business as a result of an order by a government authority as a result of COVID-19 crisis.
  • That, a result of such suspension, gross receipts are less than 60 percent of their level for a comparable 2019 period.

Note as well that there are some restrictions to this deferral.   According to CSMS #42423171:

  • Deferrals are limited to entries filed in March or April 2020.
  • An entry cannot include 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, and
    • Duties assessed pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
  • No interest will accrue for the postponed payment of such estimated duties, taxes, and fees during this 90-day postponement period.
  • No penalty, liquidated damages, or other sanction will be imposed for the postponed payment of the deposit of estimated duties, taxes, and fees in accordance with this temporary postponement.

According to CSMS #42421561, filers can submit:

  • Payment for single-pay entry summaries within the 90-day postponement period.
    • For example, a single-pay entry summary with a payment due date of April 30, 2020 may be paid up to July 29, 2020.
  • An entry summary with a statement date up to 90 days in the future. As such, statements may be scheduled up to 90 days in the future.
    • If you are doing periodic monthly statement, you will need to remove the entries from statement by midnight tonight, Monday, April 20, 2020, and schedule them for payment on July 22, 2020.

Click here to view the official notice published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2020.

Click here to view the official CBP bulletin.

Please note: Any importers eligible for temporary deferral do not need to file additional documentation with CBP; however,  officials advise that importers maintain documentation that they meet all eligibility requirements for postponement. If you are a Shapiro customer, your Shapiro point of contact will be in touch with a Duty Deferral Qualification Form certifying that your business meets the requirements.

For most up-to-date information, please refer to the COVID-19 page on CBP’s website.

Policy questions should be directed to the Office of Trade, Trade Policy and Programs at [email protected].

Shapiro will continue to monitor this situation and advise you of any developments.