President Trump Issues Executive Order to Extend the Deadline for Certain Duty Payments for 90 days

Posted on Apr 20

Yesterday, 4/19/2020, The President signed an Executive Order which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to “temporarily extend deadlines, for importers suffering significant financial hardship due to COVID-19, for the estimated payments.” While previously advising that they were not considering such a move, the Trade has been pushing for this since the end of March. According to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, “By postponing the deadline to deposit certain duties, taxes, and fees for 90 days, we are providing much-needed relief to affected businesses”. This will protect American jobs and help these businesses get through this time.” A copy of the Executive Order can be found here. It is important to note that the duty payment extension does NOT apply to entries with the following:

• Antidumping duties,
• Countervailing duties,
• Duties assessed pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962,
• Duties assessed pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, and
• Duties assessed pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.

CBP issued message CSMS# 42423171 last night that defined the specific scope of the relief and importantly defined the term “severe financial hardship” as follows: “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.” According to the Customs message, 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.

Due to the very strict timeline of the above, if you believe that you meet and can substantiate these requirements, we will require a response by 2:00 PM CDT in order for us to be able to reach out to CBP and postpone the current monthly statement payment, which is technically due tomorrow (4/21). Please contact your V. Alexander account representative for assistance.