On April 19, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order, granting the Secretary of the Treasury the ability to defer payments of certain import duties, taxes, and fees up to 90 days due to negative impacts from COVID-19. ABA commends this action, which provides relief to companies adversely affected by the impacts of the coronavirus.
The Americans for Free Trade Coalition, of which ABA is an active member, has been pushing for this import duty deferral since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. ABA recently signed onto two letters requesting duty deferral as a result of the crisis. The coalition has been in active negotiations with the Senate Finance Committee and the Department of the Treasury to communicate the necessity of duty deferrals at this time.
The deferment program begins on April 20th and applies to formal entries made in March or April of 2020. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued several resources in aiding those seeking to qualify: a temporary final rule, an overview of the deferral provisions, and payment instructions for postponed payments. The importer must demonstrate significant financial hardship due to COVID-19 and does not apply to those duties from antidumping, countervailing, and select tariffs (Section 232, 201, and 301).