Pay duties while protest is pending? Importers may not have a choice

protest cbp form

Eye-opening piece by Susan Kohn Ross, Esq. of  Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP:

Due Your Duty

With the ever-increasing scrutiny being brought to compliance and the payment of duties on imported goods by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), it is worth commenting that any duties which are due when an entry liquidates may, in fact, end up having to be paid even if the related protest remains pending due to the legal and contractual relationship between the importer and his surety company.  Simply put, if a surety insists on receiving payment of any amounts demanded by CBP upon liquidation, the importer does not have any solid grounds to object.  Why would the surety do so if a protest is pending? Because the surety is looking to mitigate its risk. If the importer does not pay, the surety will have to do so, at least up to the face amount of any bonds it has written, and sureties try their best not to be put in that position.

Pursuant to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1514(a), when CBP liquidates an entry, that decision is final and so any monies owed are due, unless a protest is filed.  While the protest is pending, the importer is not obligated to pay any additional funds to CBP as the liquidation is not final.  However, as mentioned above, the mere possibility of financial exposure resulting in the surety having to pay the monies owed results in the surety typically demanding upfront payment. If the protest is granted, CBP reliquidates the entry accordingly.

The outcome could be as simple as the entry being reliquidated with nothing more due. Alternatively, the protest could be granted but with additional monies due related to the approved change(s). At that point, the liquidation becomes final, unless there are grounds to again protest if there is a belief the reliquidation was done incorrectly (see the reliquidation limitation in 19 U.S.C. 1514(d)).  If the protest is denied, the importer must, of course, pay all that is due, including interest, even if he desires to further challenge CBP in court. Given it generally takes 2+ years to get a decision on a protest once referred to Regulations and Rulings, the amount of interest owed can be staggering.  In fact, it is not unusual with antidumping and countervailing duty cases to have the amount of interest be equal to 50% or more of the principal amount owed and that is just at time of liquidation!

Read entire post.


ACE: CBP updates PGA Filing Status document

US Customs has posted an updated version of the PGA Filing Status document.

The updated version includes the status of import and export PGA pilots, the accepted electronic filing methods, and indicates those PGAs that are no longer accepting paper filings. For reference, this document also contains the relevant PGA announcements in the Federal Register, as well as agency contacts for filing questions.

ACE PGA Filing Status Apr 2017 update (1)


Importers: This could be the cause of your FDA rejects

From CSMS #17-000227:fda1

CBP and FDA are in the process of updating the ACE PGA flags for FDA requirements.  Specifically, the tariff numbers that had flags for ACS OGA of FD0 are getting ACE PGA requirements updates to have either no FDA flag, FD1 (FDA May Be Required) or FD2 (FDA Required).

In the meantime, following is a spreadsheet of the FDA HTS codes and their associated flags in ACE. Trade can use this as a reference in investigating any rejects they may be getting when filing entries. FD0 flags do not exist in ACE.

If you have questions about the HTS flags please contact or

CBP spreadsheet >> FDA HTS codes and flags






Food importers: Are you ready for new FSVP requirements on May 30?




Starting May 30, 2017, FDA will begin implementing the FDA’s Food Supplier Verification Program (FSVP).

Under new FDA regulations, US food importers for the first time must ensure that imported food for humans and animal is as safe as domestically produced food. It is up to each importer to establish their own FSVP.

In addition, as of May 30, each entry filing of food products offered for import into the U.S. must include the name, contact info, and DUNS # of the FSVP Importer.

See our previous blog post on this topic for more details and requirements.


Catastrophe looms at ports after Brexit, shipping industry warns

Trucks entering Dover, the busiest truck port in the UK. Photograph: Graham Mitchell/Barcroft Images
Trucks entering Dover, the busiest truck port in the UK. Photograph: Graham Mitchell/Barcroft Images


From The Guardian:

  • The UK is facing an “absolute catastrophe” if it does not sort out a “frictionless and seamless” border at Dover and other ports, the shipping industry has warned.
  • The UK Chamber of Shipping, which represents more than 170 freight ship, tanker and cruise liner companies, has called on governments across Europe to urgently grasp the challenge, arguing that a problem for the UK will also be a problem for ports in Holland, Belgium, France and Ireland.

Read full article.



April Special: Join ICPA for only $50



Whatta deal!  The International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA) is offering a New Member April Special annual rate of $50 for Individual Members only.


  1. Only applies to NEW Members (not an active member for at least 2 years)
  2. Does not apply to employees of Service Providers
  3. Visit the ICPA website to join!  Offer valid through April 30.

One of the unique features of ICPA is the ability of members to pose questions anonymously to well over 2000 compliance professionals. Answers to these questions are then shared with the entire group. The ICPA family shares and gains new knowledge every day.

Well worth the investment!

Retail industry undergoing sea change; direct filing with CustomsNow™ can help weather the storm

retailstoresclosing2017The US retail landscape is rapidly changing. Pundits cite numerous reasons — Amazon, oversupply of brick-and-mortar stores, changing consumer shopping habits, etc. — but this chart says it all.  Combined with closings in recent years, and more predicted, it’s clear that retailers who want to survive need to rethink their strategies.

For those retailers who are looking to cut significant costs out of their import supply chain, consider direct filing with CustomsNow.  In a time where companies are looking to outsource processes to save money, direct filing is the one process that every importer should perform in-house:

  • Realize cost savings of up to 90% off third-party filing fees, an estimated savings of $100,000 per 1,000 entries
  • Eliminate “extra” fees — lines, invoices, handling
  • Gain soft-dollar savings from reduced errors and post-entry workload

Self-filers also see improved compliance rates and gain valuable control over their supply chain.  And CustomsNow offers free support by Licesned Customs Brokers, who have decades of experience working for large retail importers.  Learn more.


Early bird registration open for 2017 G.TEC event in Long Beach



Registration for the NCBFAA Educational Institute’s 2017 Global Trade Educational Conference (G.TEC) is now open! This year’s event will be held August 7-8 in beautiful Long Beach, CA.  G.TEC gathers professionals from all facets of the industry-regardless of membership or affiliation-for two days of educational sessions and networking.

CustomsNow is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the event!  And our CEO, Karin Smith, is participating in a panel of interest to importers and others in the trade:  Self filing vs. Broker filing, Challenges, similarities, etc.  See other hot topics on the agenda.

If you have any questions about attending or sponsoring the conference, please contact NEI Director Cecilia Ferrara.

Don’t wait–register by May 12 to join us for the lowest possible price!




Kevin K. McAleenan nominated for CBP Commissioner post




President Trump has nominated Kevin K. McAleenan to serve as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. McAleenan has served as the Deputy Commissioner since 2014 and currently functions as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer and senior career official.

Under Mr. McAleenan’s leadership, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has developed strategies that protect the Nation’s borders from terrorism, and attack transnational criminal networks, while ensuring the flow of legal commerce and travel.

Mr. McAleenan previously held several leadership positions at CBP—including launching its Office of Antiterrorism—and one of its legacy agencies.

In 2015, Mr. McAleenan received a Presidential Rank Award, which is the Nation’s highest civil service award.

He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College.