White House issues Executive Order, CBP issues CSMS messages clarifying 90-day duty postponement for importers.

For the past several weeks there have been multiple, on-again, off-again stories in the news about whether or not the White House would provide relief to importers from estimated duties, taxes and fees during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Late Sunday – and quite unexpectedly given the last public statements from the Administration – the White House issued an Executive Order providing 90-day duty postponement to importers. 

At first blush, this sounds great. But the devil is in the details and in this case, it applies to a select group of entries which meet certain conditions.

  1. 90-day postponement is not available for entries that include ADD/CVD, Section 201, 232 or 301 trade remedy duties. 
  2. The CSMS message says this relief is for importers suffering “significant financial hardship,” one condition of which is defined as 2020 gross receipts 60% less than the comparable March and April period in 2019. While documentation must not be filed, the agency “may also conduct a review of the documentation at a future date to ensure compliance with the requirements.”
  3. This deferral applies to entries paid by single check, daily statement or Periodic Monthly Statement.
  4. Duty already paid cannot be postponed.
  5. Importers whose entries are paid on period monthly statement have until 11:59 PM ET Monday, April 20th (read: tonight) to have the payment date changed.

From the CSMS message on timing:

Estimated duties, taxes, and fees paid on single pay basis or Daily Statement may be postponed up to 90 days from the payment due date.


  • Original Due Date: April 30, 2020; 90-Day Postponement: July 29, 2020

Estimated duties and fees paid via Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) may be postponed up to three months as defined by the 15th working day of the month.


  • Original due date: April 21, 2020; 3 month postponement: July 22, 2020
  • Original due date: May 21, 2020; 3 month postponement: August 21, 2020

The deadline to change the Periodic Monthly Statement is Monday, April 20th at 11:59 PM ET. That’s TONIGHT.

If your company is eligible and wishes for us to utilize this postponement, contact your Edward J. Zarach & Associates representative IMMEDIATELY.