INDUSTRY UPDATES: COVID-19

TGA Victory – Partial Duty Deferral

Last night (April 19), President Trump issued an Executive Order implementing a 90-day duty deferral for March and April 2020 entries. Shortly after that, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued two messages and an interim final rule outlining the details of the deferral.

The 90-day duty deferral does NOT apply to an entry summary that includes merchandise subject to antidumping duties, countervailing duties and/or Section 201, 232 or 301 (China) duties.

Further, the importer must prove that they have a significant financial hardship. A hardship is defined as an importer that is fully or partially suspended during March 2020 or April 2020 due to orders from a competent governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19, AND, as a result of such suspension, the gross receipts of such importer for March 13-31, 2020 or April 2020 are less than 60 percent of the gross receipts for the comparable period in 2019.

The duties on qualifying entries will be deferred 90 days from the date the duties for each entry were due to be paid (or 90 days from the date the periodic monthly payment was due). There will be no interest or any other penalties on the deferred duties.

What Does This Mean?
Based on our understanding, we believe that virtually all travel goods importers will meet the hardship requirement. However, the Executive Order excludes from duty deferral any entry that is subject to the China 301 duties. In essence, that means that all U.S. travel goods imports from China are NOT eligible for duty deferral.

U.S. imports of travel goods from any other country, such as Vietnam, India, etc, that were entered in March or April are eligible for duty deferral.

This is a fast-moving issue. TGA will share more details with members as they come available. Further, TGA will continue to push for duty deferral for ALL U.S. travel goods imports.

More information is available via the following links:
Executive Order
Treasury Department Statement
CSMS #1, CSMS #2
Interim Final Rule

Please contact Nate Herman, TGA’s Director of Government Relations, at nate@travel-goods.org or (202) 853-9351 with any questions.