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COVID-19 90-Day Duty Postponement Frequently Asked Questions

Do entries in which the broker acts as the Importer of Record (IOR) qualify for the 90 day postponed payment if the broker does not qualify for the significant financial hardship?

No.  The determination of who qualifies for the 90-day postponement is based on the party identified as the IOR on the entry.  IORs who meet the criteria identified for significant financial hardship due to COVID-19, as outlined in the Temporary Final Rule and  CSMS 42423171, and whose entries do not include AD/CVD or Trade Remedy duties, are eligible for the 90-day postponed payment.  A broker acting as the IOR must meet the criteria for significant financial hardship in order to postpone payments under 19 C.F.R. § 24.1a.     

Do entries imported by an IOR that meets the significant financial hardship criteria outlined in the Temporary Final Rule and paid on a broker monthly or daily statement qualify for the 90-day postponement?

Entries imported by an IOR that meets the significant financial hardship criteria and do not include AD, CVD or Trade Remedy duties are eligible for the 90-day postponement and may be removed from the broker statement.

Does an entry that has merchandise that was granted an exclusion from a Trade Remedy qualify for the 90-day postponement?

Merchandise granted an exclusion from Trade Remedy duties qualifies for the 90-day postponed payment.  The exclusion must be in effect at the time of entry.  Merchandise that benefits from the retroactive application of exclusions after the time of entry are not eligible for the 90-day duty postponement.  Entries with any merchandise subject to AD/CVD, Section 201, 232 or 301 Trade Remedy duties are not eligible for the 90-day postponement. 

If the IOR is a wholesaler who sells to retailers whose operations are suspended due to COVID19, will the IOR’s entries be eligible for the 90-day postponement?

The wholesaler IOR must meet the significant financial hardship criteria in order to be eligible for the 90-day postponement.  It is the IOR’s responsibility to substantiate its own significant financial hardship.

Are entries filed in March that were scheduled for daily statement but not paid eligible for the 90-day postponement?

As a general rule, CBP offices will exercise discretion and flexibility in working with importers in light of the COVID-19 impacts.  This temporary postponement applies to formal entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption (including entries for consumption from a Foreign Trade Zone) in March or April 2020 where estimated duties, taxes, and fees have not been paid.  Entries in this scope that have not been paid due to significant financial hardship will qualify for the 90-day postponement, if they satisfy all other requirements.  Entries for which a payment was made but had insufficient funds are not eligible for the 90-day postponement.    

The TFR applies to entries, or withdrawals from warehouse, for consumption, made on or after March 1, 2020…”. What does ‘made’ mean?

The temporary postponement applies to merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse or foreign trade zone, for consumption in March or April 2020.  The time of entry, pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 141.68, establishes when an entry for consumption is made.

Scenario: Entry on PMS printed 4/15/2020, due to be withdrawn 4/21/2020. Broker removed entry from PMS and changed it to Single Pay. Can entry be placed BACK on a PMS subject to the 90-day postponement?

Yes, in the situation in which an entry was removed from a PMS and designated as a single pay, the broker can designated it for a future statement, assuming all eligibility criteria are met.

If payment of the estimated duties is deferred, can you still claim drawback against the entry summary during that deferral period? Does ACE prevent you from doing so or must you know not to make the claim?

No, a drawback claim should not be filed.  Drawback claims may be liquidated only after estimated duties are deposited with CBP in accordance with 19 C.F.R. § 190.81(a)(2) and (b).  CBP is advising that filers delaying duty payment during the 90 day postponement period due to financial hardships, should not file any drawback claims; accelerated or non-accelerated, until payments have been properly made on the import entry(s), this includes.  Drawback claims may be filed up to 5 years after the date of importation of the merchandise that is identified or designated as the basis for the drawback claim.

Does the 90 day postponement apply to the Cotton Fee assessed on all imports of cotton and cotton products?

Yes, the 90-day postponement applies to the Cotton Fee.

What is meant by “gross receipts” as part of the significant financial hardship qualifications?

CBP is adopting the definition of “gross receipts” used at 26 CFR 1.993-6.

One criteria for allowing a Post Summary Correction (PSC) is that it is “fully paid.” Does this mean that a PSC would not be allowed on an entry that has duty postponed until after the duty is paid 90 days later?

Correct.  A PSC cannot be filed on an entry summary until it is paid.

Are Reconciliation entries (Entry type 09) eligible for the 90-day postponement?

No.  The 90-day postponement applies to formal entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption (including entries for consumption from a Foreign Trade Zone) in March 2020 or April 2020.

Does the broker need to have something in writing from the importer to confirm hardship?

An importer who meets the significant financial hardship criteria does not need to file documentation with CBP to be eligible for this relief but must maintain documentation as part of its books and records establishing that it meets the requirements for relief.  It is up to the broker if they choose to secure documentation from the importer confirming hardship.

CSMS 42423171 section ENTRIES NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE 90-DAY POSTPONEMENT states, “This authorization only applies to entries that have not yet been filed; it does not apply to entries that have already been filed.” Please explain.

The submission of separate entries to segregate eligible merchandise from ineligible merchandise applies to entries that have not yet been filed.  Filers should not cancel entries previously filed in order to refile new entries in order to take advantage of the 90-day postponement.

With respect to entries with merchandise subject to AD/CVD, is merchandise considered to be “subject” if no AD duty is assessed? Similarly, if there is an AD/CVD case established but a zero rate applies, do these goods fall under the term “subject”?

Entries that are subject to an AD/CVD case with no rate yet established, or with a zero rate applicable, are not eligible for the 90-day postponement. 

Does the 90-day duty postponement apply to federal excise taxes on imported products?

Yes, the 90-day duty postponement applies to federal excise taxes on imported products.

For entries eligible for the 90-day duty postponement, is the importer of record still required to have a valid bond on file?

Yes, a valid continuous or single transaction bond is required to be on file at time of entry filing. The current bond formulas apply.

Does the postponement apply to non-resident importers of record if they can demonstrate significant financial hardship?

Yes

Are Chinese products, which are included in the Section 301, List 4B, eligible for 90-day duty postponement?

Yes, since China Section 301, List 4B, was not implemented, Chinese products that were included on List 4B are eligible for the 90-day postponement.

Are Chinese products subject to Section 301 duties on List 3 eligible to be postponed?

No. Products subject to China Section 301, List 3, are NOT eligible for the 90-day postponement.

If an importer’s operations are considered “essential” and therefore were not fully suspended, but the operations were negatively impacted in accordance with the significant financial hardship requirements, would the importer qualify for the postponement?

To qualify for the postponement, an importer’s operations must be fully or partially suspended during March or April 2020 due to orders from a competent governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings because of COVID-19.  Importers whose operations have been deemed “essential” will be considered by CBP on a case-by-case basis, and should be submitted to OTEntrySummary@cbp.dhs.gov for review.

Is it possible that an entry could be liquidated shortly after filing before duties are paid?

ACE will not liquidate entries for which payment has not been received due to the 90-day postponement period.  After the 90-day postponement period, any entry not paid will be liquidated and a bill will be issued.

If the Importer of Record’s retail stores are closed but its online store is operational, does this qualify as a partial suspension of operations for purposes of the 90-day postponement?

Yes.

My broker controls the statements of multiple clients and may not be able to change all eligible entries due to the volume. Can the importer of record go into ACE and change the payment date themselves?

An importer cannot change payment dates in ACE unless they are a self-filer that can submit their own Automated Broker Interface (ABI) transactions.

If an importer of record feels they will meet the hardship requirements and defers duty payments, but fails to meet the hardship requirements, will there be a penalty?

The importer of record must meet the significant financial hardship criteria in order to be eligible for the 90-day postponement. The importer of record must maintain documentation as part of its books and records establishing that it meets the requirements for relief. CBP may also conduct a review of the documentation at a future date to ensure compliance with the requirements.

How should importers who use a FTZ and therefore file a single weekly entry segregate imports subject to only normal duties and those subject to trade remedies?

In order to take advantage of the 90-day postponement period, importers/filers must ensure their entries do not include merchandise that is ineligible for the postponed payment. CBP is authorizing the submission of separate entries pursuant to 19 CFR § 141.52.  This authorization only applies to entries that have not yet been filed; it does not apply to entries that have already been filed. Two separate FTZ weekly entries may be filed to separate eligible goods from non-eligible goods.

Do the Haas Avocado and Mango Promotional Board Fees qualify for the 90-day postponement?

Yes, the 90-day postponement applies to the Haas Avocado and Mango Promotional Board Fees.

If a shipment contains eligible and non-eligible merchandise, can two separate entries be filed under the same house bill of lading?

Yes. In order to take advantage of the 90-day postponement period, importers/filers must ensure their entries do not include merchandise that is ineligible for the postponed payment. CBP is authorizing the submission of separate entries pursuant to 19 CFR § 141.52. This authorization only applies to entries that have not yet been filed; it does not apply to entries that have already been filed. 

Do I need to send an email request and documentation to CBP to get approved for the 90-day postponement for payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees mentioned in CSMS 42423171?

No. Approval from CBP is not required for an importer of record to take advantage of the 90-day postponement for payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees. Any importer of record that meets the significant financial hardship requirements is eligible for postponement.  An eligible importer need not file additional documentation with CBP to be eligible for this relief but must maintain documentation as part of its books and records establishing that it meets the requirements for relief.

Does the 90-day postponement apply to the estimated Pork Fee assessed on imports of pork and pork products?

Yes, the 90-day postponement applies to the estimated Pork Fee paid on entries of pork and pork products.

CSMS 42323171 states that "Estimated Internal Revenue Tax paid via the deferred tax schedule may be postponed up to three months from the payment due date." Which Internal Revenue Taxes are eligible to be paid via the deferred tax schedule?

The example and reference to estimated internal revenue taxes paid via the deferred tax schedule in CSMS 42323171 is in reference to the CBP deferred excise tax program referenced in 19 CFR § 24.4. If an importer is approved for the program, it allows for the deferred payment of estimated excise taxes on imported beer, wine, and distilled spirits to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on a bi-weekly basis. Deferred payments of estimated excise taxes for those importers of record already approved for the program were originally due April 29, 2020 and May 14, 2020 and are now postponed to July 29, 2020 and August 14, 2020. If the importer of record is not currently part of the deferred excise tax program referenced in 19 CFR § 24.4, estimated internal revenue taxes paid for beer, wine, distilled spirits, as well as tobacco products on single pay basis or Daily Statement may be postponed up to 90 days from the payment due date.

If we submit an entry in April that is eligible for the 90-day postponement of payment, how do we transmit the Preliminary Statement Date (PSD) and Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) month?

PMS month can only be up to 2 months out for the entry summary (AE) submission.  CBP did not change that validation in ACE.  You can submit a subsequent statement update (SU) transaction afterwards to move the PMS month out to July or August. Submit the entry summary (AE transaction) with the normal periodic daily statement (PDS) preliminary print date and PMS month in the month of May. Then, before the preliminary PDS prints, submit a statement update (SU transaction) with the same preliminary print date but setting the PMS month to August. For more information, see CSMS #42421561 - COVID-19 – Payment Instructions for 90-Day Postponement of Payment for the Deposit of Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees.

Are type 11 entries eligible for the 90-day postponement for payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees?

No, only formal entry types are eligible for the 90-day postponement for payment of certain duties, taxes and fees. Type 11 entries are informal entries and are NOT eligible.

When does CBP plan to reinstate the ACE validations that were removed to allow the 90 day postponement of certain estimated duties, taxes and fees?

CBP will leave the ACE validation edits as is until the May Periodic Monthly Statement period passes to allow filers to continue to move entries off the May statement.  CBP has not set a specific date for reinstating the ACE validations that were removed.

Will CBP reject an entry summary transaction if the entry date is on or after May 1, 2020 and payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees is postponed 90 days?

No, entries filed on or after May 1, 2020 will not be rejected if payment is postponed 90 days. However, as with any other entry that is not paid on time, the importer may be subject to interest assessments, liquidated damages, or other legal consequences.

Last modified: 
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 15:00