U.S. Customs and Border Protection has amended its regulations regarding statement processing and Automated Clearinghouse to reflect that final statements will be identified as paid upon the completion of the funds transfer for the ACH debit and credit payment processes. CBP is making a related change to its ongoing test of periodic monthly statements. CBP states that these changes only affect its internal accounting procedures and will result in no associated delays, interruptions, or process changes for the trade community.
Statement processing allows entry/entry summaries and entry summaries to be grouped by importer or filer on a daily basis. Any related duties, taxes, fees, and interest may be paid with a single payment rather than by individual checks for each entry. The preferred method of payment is ACH, except where the importer has provided a separate check for customs charges (mixing of payment methods for a single statement is prohibited).
There are two ACH payment processes, ACH debit and ACH credit. Currently when CBP accepts the ACH debit authorization it identifies the preliminary statement as paid and posts the appropriate amounts to the related entries. However, the funds transfer is usually not completed until two business days afterward. CBP is therefore removing the requirement to identify the preliminary statement as paid. The preliminary statement will still be issued but CBP will now identify the final statement as paid and post the appropriate amounts to the related entries upon receiving confirmation from the Treasury Department that the funds are available and transferred to CBP, which marks the completion of the funds transfer.
CBP is making a similar change for ACH credit, which allows a payor to electronically transmit statement processing payments, deferred tax payments, or bill payments directly to the CBP account maintained by Treasury.
CBP states that these changes do not affect the timeliness of ACH debit or credit payments. Once CBP receives confirmation that the funds are available and have been transferred it will treat the date of its acceptance of the ACH debit or credit authorization as the effective payment date for purposes of determining the timeliness of the payment. This date will also remain the date for the calculation of interest and/or liquidated damages.
Similarly, CBP is revising its ongoing test of periodic monthly statements, which allows importers to deposit estimated duties, fees, and taxes on a monthly basis, to reflect that when payment is made via ACH it will identify PMS as paid upon the completion of the funds transfer.