April 20, 2020 | By Jay Devers

CBP announces 90-day duty postponement for select importers, entries, in March and April

The White House issued an Executive Order on Sunday deferring the payment of certain duties, taxes and fees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their announcement left most of the details to CBP who in the evening published CSMS message number 42423171 entitled “COVID-19 – 90 Day Postponement of Payment for the Deposit of Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees” with more information about what is and isn’t eligible and what needs to be done to qualify for the postponement.

The good:

  • The 90-day postponement covers entries from March and April, 2020, which have not yet been paid.
  • For March entries, this benefits importers whose entries are on Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS).
  • For April entries, the same PMS benefit applies and for any entries that were scheduled to be paid in the next ten days by check or by daily statement, they’re eligible for postponement as well.

The bad:

  • Entries with antidumping / countervailing (ADD/CVD) are not eligible to be postponed.
  • Entries with additional duties for trade remedies such as Section 201, 232 (steel and aluminum) and 301 (China lists, EU / Airbus dispute) are not eligible.

The catch:

  • For importers to avail themselves of the postponement, they have to be experiencing “significant financial hardship”.
  • The agency defines this as: “An importer will be considered to have a significant financial hardship if the operation of such importer is 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, and as a result of such suspension, the gross receipts of such importer for March 13-31, 2020 or April 2020 are less than 60 percent of the gross receipts for the comparable period in 2019.”

The clock’s ticking. Fast.

Bestway needs to know if our client importers want to change their March PMS statement on Monday because the deadline to change the April payment is 11:59 PM ET on Monday, April 20th. That’s today.

Contact your Bestway representative to find out if your company’s entries are eligible to be postponed.