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
Prior 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).