26 May Building a relationship with Customs through ACH
Importers with compliance programs understand that such a program includes multiple business activities. It starts with sourcing, moves through country of origin marking and proper classification, screening for potential trade remedy duties like AD/CVD, Section 301 or Section 232 inclusion and finally through to finance. For companies seeking to enhance their import compliance program, a direct relationship for the payment of duties and taxes with CBP is one that makes sense and is easy to implement.
CBP offers importers the ability to pay duty directly by ACH and, if approved, using the agency’s Periodic Monthly Statement process where duties can be paid once per month like a credit card statement that has all of the entries from the preceding month. At a time when payments from customers are being stretched, the ability to have up to an additional 45 days’ time to pay Customs is a definite advantage.
The process is quite simple and presents an opportunity for an importer to further establish a relationship with CBP. The CBP Form 400 is available online here, and is quick and easy to complete. In order to qualify, an importer must:
- File entries through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and paying via a US bank which is a National Automated Clearinghouse Association’s (NACHA) participant with electronic data interchange capabilities.
- Have a Federal identification number such as a tax ID or a Social Security Number submitted to CBP via form 5106. Should this not be applicable or providable, a Customs-assigned alternative number will do.
- Complete a separate application for each account should there be multiple ones or multiple importer IDs.
- Match all blank information on the application to the Check Specification Sheet.
- Confirm your bank’s routing number and account numbers are correct as CBP holds the filer responsible for any errors that result from any incorrect information put in.
For the most rapid processing, email the application to ACH-Customs@cbp.dhs.gov. If you prefer to mail in the application:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
ACH Debit Applications
6650 Telecom Drive, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46278
New applications take up to 15 business days from the receipt date to process. For changes to an existing ACH account, filers should allow at least 3 business days for processing.
Once the account is created, CBP will assign the filer a unique Payer Unit Number (PUN), which is used as a security measure. CBP will only share the PUN with the point of contact listed on the ACH application. This will be used to identify the payer when attempting to submit payments.
If you need help completing the ACH application, or just need some clarification on the process, please contact your Future Forwarding representative to learn more today!