Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it will deploy Oct. 18 a new report within the Automated Commercial Environment allowing importers of record, licensed customs brokers, and other ACE account users to electronically view unpaid, open bills, from the time physical bills are created until the bills are paid. However, CBP will continue its current processes for mailing physical bills, which will remain the primary source of legal notice of monies owed due to customs activity.

The new capability will apply to supplemental bills, certain reimbursable bills, and non-reimbursable/miscellaneous bills. Supplemental bills – which constitute the majority of bills CBP generates for collections purposes – arise from the liquidation and reliquidation processes and are generated because of the nonpayment or underpayment of duties, taxes, and fees at the time of entry. They also include vessel repair duties, consumption duties, antidumping and countervailing duties, and any interest owed. Reimbursable bills generally arise from activities and services performed by CBP employees in partnership with private-sector entities, such as agricultural processing or border security. Non-reimbursable/miscellaneous bills include certain user fees and other non-tariff debts.

CBP notes that this enhancement will not generally apply to accrual bills, debit vouchers, or fines, penalties, and forfeiture bills, which will be addressed in future ACE collections releases.

Also effective Oct. 18 CBP will transition from the current bill format, known as CBP Form 6084, to a new form that will enable the public to identify the legal authority for the bill, the origin of the bill, contact information for additional questions about the bill, and the consequences for not paying the bill. CBP states that the new bill form will have the same structure as the old one and contain all of the same information.

CBP states that these changes are part of its ongoing transition of all collections processes to ACE, which aims to reduce agency costs and provide the public with more streamlined and better automated payment processes, including better visibility into data regarding specific transactions. Additional releases of ACE collections capabilities will follow in the future.

ACE functionality can help importers and others boost compliance and duty savings efforts. For more information, please contact attorney Lenny Feldman via email or at (305) 894-1011.

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