90-Day Reprieve on US Import Duty for Qualified Importers
April 22, 2020
The Trump administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced a 90-day extension on the payment of certain estimated duties, taxes and fees to help those importers that have suffered significant financial hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The 90-day exemption applies to formal entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption including entries for consumption from a Foreign Trade Zone in March or April 2020.
The 90-day exemption will not apply to anti-dumping and countervailing duties nor to President Trump’s national security duties on steel and aluminum or the scores of levies placed on Chinese products over the last two years.
The details of the scope of the relief are set out in CSMS #42423171 – COVID-19 – 90 Day Postponement of Payment for the Deposit of Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees. Companies will need to provide CBP with documentation supporting their request for duty deferral demonstrating that they have suffered e significant financial hardship.
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.
An eligible importer 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. CBP may also conduct a review of the documentation at a future date to ensure compliance with the requirements.
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