Importers use ACH debit to streamline duty payments

Savvy importers who take advantage of paying their customs duties via Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit realize many benefits.  As outlined by CBP, these importers:

  • Obtain up to an additional 10 days to pay duties, taxes, and fees on quota and other special merchandise classes
  • Reduce administrative processing and costs
  • Pay all ABI statements in a central location
  • Reduce administrative errors related to check processing
  • Eliminate lost or stolen check problems
  • Control cash flow by identifying the exact day to allocate funds

Additionally, users of ACH may use avail themselves of the Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) feature in ACE which provides its own benefits, such as improved cash flow —  payments of duties and fees are deferred until the 15th day of the following month, offering up to a 45 day interest-free float on this cash

customsPrior to using ACH, the import compliance department must work with the company’s finance or accounting group to set up internal payment processes and then coordinate with CBP to connect with ACH.  After that, the ACH debit process is straight-forward — just 5 simple steps to paying import duties.

The ACH debit process is quite secure; CBP has taken numerous steps to safeguard the payer’s account information and ensure that the correct amount is debited, which will satisfy even the most conservative finance departments.

ACH debit may be used by both importers who self-file their customs entries and those who use a customs broker.  (CBP also offers an ACH credit process for importers who prefer that method of payment).


CustomsNow to present to US fashion industry on self-filing customs entries

usfiaOn April 8, Karin Smith and Nic Adams of CustomsNow will present a webinar, “The Ins and Outs of Direct Filing,” to the US Fashion Industry Association.

The webinar’s theme is that “do-it-yourself” has never been so rewarding!  While many in the fashion industry are looking to outsource processes to save money, self-filing their customs entries and ISFs is one process that most apparel importers can and should complete in-house.  The savings are substantial, the compliance improvement real, and the increased control empowering.

The webinar will cover topics including:

  • Importers’ data/parts file
  • Basics of direct filing
  • Why direct file?
  • Getting started with direct filing
  • Rollout of direct filing
  • Staffing
  • Automation and integration

USFIA membership is required to participate in the webinar.

CustomsNow to exhibit at next week’s ICPA conference


The 2014 ICPA Conference & Expo officially kicks off March 23 in Orlando, and we’re excited to be part of it.  Please visit us at booth #312 to learn how our solutions have brought huge savings to the bottom line for importers and increased compliance and control, all with the ongoing support of a broker.

CustomsNow is the leading provider of ABI software, and is unique in that we are both an ACE-Certified ABI vendor and a fully Licensed Customs Broker.  We are focused on import compliance and automation, and have decades of import experience.  Direct file ISFs, import entries, reconciliations, in-bonds, e-manifests, AES and more.  Learn more.

And check out our Parts File, a robust, stand-alone solution to store and manage ALL product information for imported products, whether you direct file or not.

CBP makes changes to the scope of CEE program

Effective March 10, US Customs has modified the scope of coverage at six of its Centers of Excellence and Expertise, a pilot program started in 2011 as a collaborative effort with the trade to facilitate the import of certain categories of goods.  The test program, a vital component of CBP’s Trade Transformation efforts, has successfully expanded to 10 centers nationwide.

As the program matures, CBP has removed, added and/or reassigned various HTSUS headings that are under the purview of the following CEEs:

  • Automotive & Aerospace
  • Base Metals
  • Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising
  • Industrial & Manufacturing Materials
  • Machinery
  • Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals

In light of these changes, importers participating in the CEE test at these centers should carefully review CBP’s actions to ensure that their inbound merchandise still qualifies for inclusion in their respective CEEs.

Additionally, CBP is expanding the entry types that can be processed at all CEEs to include Types 01, 04, 06, 08, 11, 23 and 24.  Moreover, 14 additional entry types will be added in the near future.

For more information about these and other changes affecting CEEs, consult CBP’s Federal Register notice.


Missed CBP’s Trade Symposium? Get the highlights

tssAs of this posting, CBP’s East Coast Trade Symposium in Washington, DC, is winding down.  If you were unable to attend, you can participate in a webinar hosted by Global Trade Academy, who has sent faculty to the symposium to take notes and provide an overview for those who missed it.

The webinar, which will be offered on March 10 and 13, will also be an additional resource for those who are attending and are expected to report to colleagues on updates.  CBP is convening only one symposium this year, so those who were anticipating attending a West Coast Trade Symposium can rely on the Global Trade Academy webinar to get up to speed.

Registration information can be found here.