GLEN ELLYN, IL -- The following is a memorandum for CTDA member companies, which was released by executive director, Rick Church, and acting legal counsel, Robin Grover, on March 25.

 

“In view of the current pandemic and associated economic crisis, we are monitoring developments by which our members can save on expenses. These include the possible deferral of payments for federal obligations that are normally payable on a set schedule. As many of our members import large quantities of ceramic tile or other products from various countries, we have paid particular attention to policy changes involving international trade.

 

One such policy change involves Customs’ announcement this week that it will approve importer requests for the deferral of their payments of import tariffs and associated fees, such as the Harbor Maintenance Fee and Merchandise Processing Fees. This is a deferral, not an elimination or reduction of such import fees. Customs announced this policy change in the following Customs Service Message (“CSMS) issued this week to its port directors and certain other parties

 

CSMS #42097586 - Additional Days for Payments due to COVID-19

Due to the severity of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will approve on a case by case basis additional days for payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees due to this emergency. Please note we are working on a future message that will provide further information. Please watch your CSMS messages.

 

NOTE: CBP has confirmed that the March 20, 2020 debit authorizations for the Periodic Monthly Statements and the daily statements have been transmitted to the Department of Treasury. Please work directly with your financial institution if you wish to prevent these funds from being withdrawn.

 

Requests should be directed to the Office of Trade, Trade Policy and Programs: OTentrysummary@cbp.dhs.gov.

 

If you are interested in pursuing duty and import fee payment postponement, we suggest you contact your licensed customs broker. Should you have any other questions, please contact CTDA staff and we will do our best to get you an answer.”