U.S. Issues 90-Day Postponement of Certain Tariffs

On April 18, the White House announced it would allow some companies to delay payment of import tariffs due to economic hardship triggered by the new coronavirus.
The following day, the Treasury Department, in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), issued a temporary final rule to allow companies to delay for 90 days the payment of tariffs on certain goods coming into the U.S. from March 13, 2020, through April 30, 2020.
U.S. importers seeking a tariff-payment delay must “demonstrate a significant financial hardship” and must have operations that are “fully or partially suspended during March or April 2020 due to orders from a competent governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings.” Companies must also show a 60% decline in gross receipts to qualify, and the losses must result from partial or full closure due to government order.
The importer does not need to file documentation with CBP to be eligible for this relief but must maintain documentation as part of its records establishing that it meets the requirements for relief. CBP may also conduct a review of the documentation at a future date to ensure compliance with the requirements.
Importers must make sure their merchandise is eligible for this deferral.  This temporary postponement does not apply to any consumption entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for entries of merchandise that fall under Sections 201 (safeguard tariffs), 232 (national security tariffs on steel and aluminum materials), or 301 (China tariffs) of various trade remedy statutes, or which attract countervailing and antidumping duties.
The published CFR notice can be read here.  For more information, please contact a BDO Customs and International Trade Services professional.