UPDATE: 4/22/20—CBP has provided clarification to the deadlines. The April 20 filing deadline “is only relevant to the statements that are being processed for payments” on April 21. “For April 30, you have until April 29, at 11:59 P.M., to effect changes on that statement.” CBP has also posted a list of frequently asked questions.

Duty relief may be possible for certain importers whose operations were fully or partially suspended during March or April 2020 due to government orders limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings (non-essential businesses) because of COVID-19. The official Federal Register notice is set to be published in the near future.

If you are an importer affected by such suspension and your gross receipts during the time period of March 13-31, 2020 or April 2020 are less than 60 percent of the gross receipts for the comparable period in 2019, you may qualify for a duty deferral.

This 90-day deferral program is very restrictive and contains many conditions on what duties can be deferred:

What duties am I not allowed to defer?

  • Antidumping duties (ADD)
  • Countervailing duties (CVD)
  • Duties assessed pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (232)
  • Duties assessed pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 (201)
  • Duties assessed pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (301)

What if my import/entry contains goods subject to both ADD, CVD, 232, 301, etc. AND goods not subject to these duties?

For entries already filed, the entire entry will NOT be eligible for the 90-day postponed payment. As a solution, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is authorizing the submission of separate entries pursuant to 19 CFR § 141.52. This would mean that importers would have to file two entries for each import during the time period of April 21, 2020 to April 30, 2020.

Significant Financial Hardship

An importer will be considered to have a significant financial hardship if:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

If you believe you are eligible as an importer to qualify for this program, please review the executive order and temporary final rule for further details. If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to your Mohawk Global representative.