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Importers Suffering Financial Hardship: Extension of Payment Time on Certain Import Duties

On April 19, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order allowing importers “suffering significant financial hardship because of COVID-19” a 90-day extension to pay certain U.S. Customs duties. The Order applies to goods entered in March or April of 2020. No interest will accrue on the postponed payments during the 90-day period. The changes do not allow for the return of any deposits that have already been paid. 

There are some limitations on eligibility for this relief. Entries containing goods subject to any of the following are NOT eligible:

  • Antidumping duties;
  • Countervailing duties;
  • Section 232 duties (steel and aluminum);
  • Section 201 duties; and
  • Section 301 duties (Goods from China and the EU)

Entries eligible for this duty postponement must not contain goods subject to any of the above duties. If an entry in whole or in part contains goods subject to any of the above duties, the entire entry is ineligible for duty postponement.

Importers do not need to submit any documentation to U.S. Customs requesting the extension, but must maintain documentation supporting (1) that the specific entries qualify and (2) that the company falls under U.S. Custom’s definition of “significant financial hardship.” Factors indicating such hardship include the full or partial suspension of the importer’s operations during March or April 2020 due to orders from a competent governmental authority resulting in the importer’s gross receipts for March 13-31 or April 2020 being less than 60 percent of the gross receipts for a comparable period in 2019.

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 112


About this Author

Laura Siegel Rabinowitz Corporate Trade Attorney Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Laura Siegel Rabinowitz counsels domestic and multinational businesses on complex supply chain issues and other complicated challenges associated with trade, advising on mitigation of duty exposure and compliance. Laura has deep experience handling international trade projects for clients, including multinational importers, exporters, manufacturers, retailers, customs brokers, and freight forwarders.

Laura advises clients on mitigating tariffs on Chinese-made products and steel and aluminum and helps clients navigate the maze of regulations,...

Donald Stein, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, International Trade and Healthcare Litigation Attorney

Donald S. Stein focuses his practice on federal regulatory issues, and in particular U.S. Customs law, trade remedies and trade policy issues. From dealing with imports and the myriad of laws enforced by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"), he has also developed experience in practicing before other federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is also experienced in working with the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in connection with trade law and trade policy issues.

In the Customs area, Don has wide-ranging experience representing clients in the apparel and agriculture sectors, as well as in many other industries, in tariff classification, valuation, country of origin and country of origin marking matters, as well as defending clients against Customs detentions and seizures, and claims for penalties, liquidated damages, and/or the redelivery of goods. He has also worked closely with U.S. intellectual property owners to help protect their intellectual property against unauthorized and infringing imports. Under the CBP’s regime of "informed compliance," Don has worked with his clients to advise and ensure that they structure their import operations in a manner that is fully compliant with all CBP rules and regulations. He has also worked with clients to design and implement Customs compliance programs. Additionally, Don assists clients who are subject to CBP audits.

In the trade policy area, Don has represented the interests of clients in trade preference matters (free trade agreements and special trade programs), as well as in matters pending before Congress which may affect their interests. He also provides advice to clients on World Trade Organization related issues.

Axel Urie international Trade and Customs Attorney Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Axel Urie is a member of the International Trade and Customs Practice in Greenberg Traurig's Washington, D.C. office. He is experienced in trade remedy and customs matters, including litigation for domestic importers, producers, and foreign exporters.