Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made the following announcements in response to the operational impacts that COVID-19 is having on the agency and the trade community.

Duty Deferrals

CBP has implemented a program whereby importers can request on an individual basis a delay of duty payments beyond current requirements. CBP has already granted a number of such requests, although questions remain about the duration of the delays and the process by which CBP will grant them. 

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. has obtained duty payment delays for a number of companies and will publish more information when it becomes available. For more details on these developments, please contact customs attorneys Lenny Feldman or David Cohen or trade consultant Nicole Bivens Collinson.   

Insufficient Bonds

CBP is granting a 10-day extension for the termination and replacement of bonds found to be insufficient and for which notices were issued with a due date of March 21. Such bonds should be scheduled for termination by March 31 with a termination date no later than April 15. CBP is not postponing its April bond sufficiency reviews and notices at this time.

Rulings

CBP’s National Commodity Specialist Division is still accepting requests for binding rulings, but requests on paper or that include or necessitate a sample may be delayed in processing and/or issuance. CBP therefore recommends that all ruling requests be submitted electronically and include detailed photographs or short videos of the product in lieu of samples. National import specialists will reach out to requesters to discuss options and whether a determination can be made without a sample.

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