March 27, 2020 | Industry Insights | Jason Palumbo

COVID-19 CBP Guidance: Duty Payment Deferral

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On March 26, 2020, U.S. Customs & Border Protection issued CSMS #42161666 Additional Guidance for Entry Summary Payments Impacted by COVID-19. This message is a follow up to CSMS #42097586 Additional Days for Payments due to COVID-19 issued on March 20, 2020.

CBP had granted duty payment extensions for many importers on a case by case basis as instructed in the CSMS #42097586. The notice advises those importers must initiate payment of approved duty deferrals by Friday March 27, 2020. If full and timely payment is not made, liquidated damages will ensue. For monthly statement payments due on March 20, 2020, debit vouchers may result if ACH payments failed.

The notice further states that no more extensions will be granted. However, CBP may allow additional days for narrow circumstances, such as a physical inability to file entry or payments, due to technology outages or port closures.

The extension of a payment deadline exists outside of the ACE system and might not prevent an automated issuance of liquidated damages. ACE might conclude the payment is untimely and trigger issuance of CBP form 5955a. We urge you to reach out us at to report any importers who have received duty payment extensions. This will allow us to track claims and ensure they are correctly handled.

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