US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Automated Clearinghouse (ACH)

Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) is an option available for paying certain duties, taxes, and fees electronically.

CBP offers two ACH payment options: Debit and Credit.

Please email ACH-Customs@cbp.dhs.gov or call (317) 298-1200 ext. 1098 if you have any questions.

Please visit the Basic Importing and Exporting webpage for acceptable payment methods and guidance.

ACH Debit

A filer may choose to use the ACH Debit payment method to authorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to withdraw funds through the filer’s financial institution. This payment method is beneficial to filers who are looking to make automatic payments without needing to initiate the transaction.

Benefits of ACH Debit

  • Receiving up to an additional 10 days to pay duties, taxes, and fees on quota and other select merchandise classes.
  • Eliminating lost or stolen checks.
  • Paying all Automated Broker Interface (ABI) statements in a central location.
  • Reducing administrative processing time and costs.
  • Enabling greater alignment to filer business practices.

 

ACH Debit Security Measures

Although ​​​​​ACH Debit is a secure payment method, CBP implemented additional security measures to protect the filer’s account and to ensure the Agency debits the correct payment amount. The security measures include, but are not limited to:

  • CBP does not store the filer’s information online. Instead, CBP assigns a unique "Payer Unit Number" (PUN) to process the ACH transaction.
  • Only the filer who originally transmitted the entries to CBP can transmit the payment authorization.
  • An importer's designated broker can use the importer's Payer Unit Number to pay only that importer's statements.
  • The filer determines when the payment process begins. CBP cannot start transferring funds until the filer transmits payment authorization.
  • CBP is unable to accept the payment authorization unless the filer’s statement total equals the total recorded by CBP’s financial statement. If they differ, CBP does not authorize the transaction.

Signing up for ACH Debit

General Information

  • The ACH Debit Application, CBP Form 400, is available online.
  • A filer must file entries through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) using statement processing, and the filer’s bank must be a U.S. bank National Automated Clearinghouse Association's (NACHA) participant with Electronic Data Interchange capability.
  • Filers must also have a Federal identification number (tax ID number or Social Security Number submitted to CBP via CBP Form 5106) or a Customs-assigned alternative number.
  • Complete a separate application for each account if a filer has multiple accounts/importer IDs.
  • If the filer plans to use more than one broker, the filer only needs to identify one broker on the application.
  • Be sure all bank information on the application matches the information on the Check Specification Sheet. Please confirm that your bank's routing and account numbers are correct. CBP holds the filer responsible for any errors that result from incorrect account information.

To begin using ACH Debit or to make changes to an existing account, please take the following steps:

Step 1: Fill Out the ACH Debit Application, CBP Form 400 and Send to CBP for Processing

For faster processing, please email the application to ACH-Customs@cbp.dhs.gov.

If you prefer to mail the application, please send the form to:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Revenue Division
ACH Debit Applications
6650 Telecom Drive, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46278

Please call (317) 298-1200 ext.Please call (317) 298-1200 ext. 1098 if you have any questions.

Step 2: CBP Reviews the Application

After receiving the application, if CBP finds errors, they will reject the application. If CBP finds no errors, they will process it.

For new applications, the process can take up to 15 business days from the date of receipt. For changes to an existing ACH account, filers should allow at least three business days for processing.

Step 3: CBP Creates the ACH Account and Assigns a Payer Unit Number

Once CBP creates the ACH account, CBP will assign the filer a unique PUN, which CBP uses as a security measure. CBP will only share the PUN with the point of contact listed on the ACH Application. Payers will use the PUN to identify themselves when attempting to submit payments.

ACH Debit Payment Initiation Process

Step 1: The Filer Receives the Preliminary Statement.

CBP sends the filer a preliminary statement of entry summaries scheduled for payment through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI). The filer reviews the statement. If the filer deletes an entry summary from the statement through ABI, CBP will send a new statement amount to the filer.

Step 2: The Filer Submits ACH Payment Authorization.

The filer submits the payment authorization to CBP through ABI, sending one ACH payment authorization per statement. CBP will not receive payment until the filer provides CBP the ACH payment authorization.

Step 3: The Filer Receives A Confirmation Message.

If the authorization is received, the filer receives a message that CBP has accepted the authorization. If errors occur, the filer receives a message for each incorrect transmission until they correct the problem.

Step 4: The Filer Receives the Final Statement.

CBP transmits a final statement to the filer, usually on the first business day after CBP processes the payment authorization. The final statement lists all paid summaries and serves as a payment receipt.

Step 5: Payment is Withdrawn From Filer's Account.

CBP transmits payment information to the ACH processor bank. The ACH processor bank then sends the data to the filer’s bank. The filer’s account is debited usually two business days after CBP accepts the initial payment authorization.

ACH Credit

A filer may use ACH Credit to authorize CBP to withdraw a single authorized payment through the filer’s bank.

Benefits of ACH Credit

  • Filers control the initiation and timing of payments.
  • Eliminating lost or stolen checks.
  • Paying all Automated Broker Interface (ABI) statements in a central location.
  • Reducing administrative processing time and costs.
  • Enabling greater alignment to filer business practices.

Signing up for ACH Credit

General Information

  • The filer, or the filer’s broker, must file entries through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) using statement processing, and the filer’s financial institution must be a U.S. bank NACHA participant with Electronic Data Interchange capability.
  • The ACH Credit Application, CBP Form 401, is available online.
  • Filers can send ACH Credit transactions in one of the following formats:
    • CCD+ Cash Concentration or Disbursement Plus contains a single payment and a single addendum record.
    • CTX Corporate Trade Exchange contains a single payment with multiple addendum records.
  • CCD+ and CTX, along with the TXP-Tax Payment addendum format, are required by CBP.
  • Filers must also have a Federal identification number (tax ID number or Social Security Number).

To begin using ACH Credit, please take the following steps:

Step 1: Fill Out the ACH Credit Application, CBP Form 401, and Send to CBP for Processing

For the fastest processing, please email the application to ACH-Customs@cbp.dhs.gov.

If you prefer to mail the application, please send the form to:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Revenue Division
ACH Debit Applications
6650 Telecom Drive, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46278

Please call (317) 298-1200 ext. 1098 if you have any questions.

Step 2: CBP Reviews the Application and Provides Payment Format and Requirements

CBP reviews the application for accuracy. If everything looks correct, CBP provides the filer with a payment format to provide to their bank.

The filer’s bank must test and validate the payment routing and account data by sending a pre-notification transaction with the addendum record. The filer must initiate a pre-note, non-dollar amount ($0), with the addendum record transaction, and must notify CBP of pre-note date. Once the filer completes the pre-note transaction, CBP will notify the filer when they may begin submitting payments.

ACH Credit Payment Initiation Process

Step 1: The Filer Provides the Necessary Data to Their Financial Institution.

CBP provides the filer with a payment format to provide to their bank. The data fields include the CBP transit routing number, CBP account number, payer identifier, settlement date (the date the filer will debit their account), total payment amount, document number, document payment amount, and payment type.

Step 2: The Payer Initiates the Payment Transaction.

The filer follows their bank’s procedures for initiating the payment. The transaction must originate at least one day before the settlement date. Once the filer begins the transaction, they cannot reverse it. If an overpayment occurs, CBP will process the payment through the normal refund process.

Step 3: The Treasury Department Transmits the Information to CBP and CBP Posts the Payment.

If the amount paid matches the amount due, CBP will post the payment. If there is a discrepancy, CBP will manually reconcile the transaction, which may cause a delay in posting the payment.

Step 4: The Treasury Department Notifies the Filer’s Bank that CBP Received the Payment. 

The transaction will be listed on the filer’s bank statement, or through other arrangements made with the bank.

Failure to make a payment or provide legal justification of non-payment may result in suspension of immediate release privileges in accordance with 19 CFR 142.26. If payment is not received by CBP on or before the late payment date appearing on the bill, interest charges will be assessed upon the delinquent principal amount of the bill in accordance with 19 CFR 24.3a.

 

Tags: