Pursuant to Executive Order 13916, on April 19, 2020, the Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a joint temporary final rule allowing for a 90-day deferment of import duties and fees for U.S. importers facing substantial financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This postponement period applies to payments for goods that were entered into the United States between March 13 and April 30, 2020. An importer is eligible if its operations were fully or partially suspended during the months of March and April due to governmental orders, and, as a result of said suspension, the importer’s gross receipts were less than 60% of the receipts over the comparable period in 2019. Notably, payments related to antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) and Sections 201, 232, and 301 Trade Remedies are excluded from this emergency relief. If an importer qualifies based on the CBP requirements and associated guidance, it does not need to file an application or any other special documentation with CBP to take advantage of the relief offered. However, the importer must maintain all documentation that establishes its qualifications for the deferral. It is the responsibility of individual importers to schedule its payments to CBP accordingly if it wants to use the program.
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