Administration Defers Payment of Certain Duties for Struggling Businesses

April 21, 2020 | President Trump signed an executive order on Sunday to defer the collection of some duties for 90 days to help businesses experiencing a “significant financial hardship” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The postponement could benefit certain Toy Association members who import non-toy products subject to duties; however, the extension does not apply to Section 301 tariffs.

Customs has defined “significant financial hardship” as 1) partial or full closure during March or April due to COVID-19, and 2) 40 percent receipt reduction. More information is available on the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) website.

The Americans for Free Trade coalition, of which The Toy Association is a member, released a statement in response to the Administration’s announcement, calling the decision “welcome news and a good first step to help provide temporary relief to American companies that are fighting for their survival” during the pandemic.

“Nonetheless, many companies were left out of this measure and will still owe significant – and in some cases a crippling amount of – tariffs to the federal government at a time when they are struggling,” the coalition stated. “We urge the Administration to heed the call of hundreds of businesses and organizations to expand this Executive Order to all categories of tariffs, and a delay collection of all duties for American companies.”

In March, the coalition sent a letter to the White House calling on President Trump to suspend tariffs as part of the Administration’s emergency measures to help mitigate the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Toy Association will keep members apprised of developments. Questions may be directed to Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs at The Toy Association.