There are a variety of ways that you can pay for import duty charges. Many shippers have sent payment via check or cash through regular USPS mail systems, however, this carries obvious risks. It’s not uncommon for mail to get lost, stolen, or delayed, and in an industry where mistakes can lead to shipment delays or heavy fines, these may not be risks you want to take.
Luckily, electronic methods of payment for duties have been made available through ACH. This process streamlines payment for duties making it fast, efficient, and risk-free. Here’s how it works:
What is ACH Duty Payments?
ACH or Automated Clearinghouse is an electronic payment option used to pay for or receive refunds from Customs duties, taxes, and fees when importing to the U.S. ACH is an automated payment system that directly wires money from your bank account to U.S. Customs.
The application process for the ACH system is relatively simple. The only major requirement is that your company has a continuous bond with CBP.
Benefits of ACH Duty Payments
We shouldn’t need to reiterate the importance of duty payments being made on time. Missed deadlines, heavy fines, and lost or stolen money are all avoidable through using ACH payment methods. Here are some of the various benefits of using ACH when paying for import duties:
1) Eliminates Lost or Stolen Payments
Without ACH payments, you’re left to the archaic mailbox. That unfortunately means huge potentials for your payments to get lost or stolen. In either case, using traditional mailing services can cause you to miss U.S. Customs payment deadlines and leave you in further payment trouble down the road.
ACH eliminates the concern of lost or stolen payments by securing payments through automated transfers. Since the duty payment is pulled directly from your company’s bank, there’s no need to worry about the transit time or security of your mail.
2) Reduces Processing Costs
Checks and cash are completely manual payment methods, which means that processing fees are often added. When all is said and done, payments made through manual methods end up costing you more time and money.
Sending in payments electronically reduces processing costs. Automating the duty payment process eliminates slow downs and delays at customs, making it an easier, quicker, and cheaper method to pay for duties.
3.) Gives Extended Time To Pay Duties
Payment deadlines can get missed for a variety of reasons. Whether your mail got delayed and didn’t make it on time, or everyday business activities diverted your attention for too long, a missed payment can create unnecessary fines and additional costs.
ACH allows up to 10 additional days of payment time for U.S. Customs. Payments also transfer right when you send them, which takes away the stress of waiting to see if your check/cash made it.
4.) Controls Cash Flow
Turns out balancing checkbooks isn’t as fun as everyone made it out to be. And if you’re paying for import duties via cash or check, balancing books is exactly what you’ll be doing.
Using ACH will get your payments to Customs on the date you schedule them. This can help with cash flow control and bring more organization to your payments.
If you’re importing products to the U.S., there’s no doubt that you have your own duty payment process in place. If that process involves manually mailing checks and cash to CBP, you may be in danger of delayed, lost, or stolen mail. That can ultimately lead to missed deadlines, stolen cash, and heavy fines by U.S. Customs.
ACH payments allow you make automatic electronic payments to U.S. Customs on the date you schedule it for. This mitigates security risks, decreases time spent balancing your books, and decreases the likelihood of a missed payment deadline. Go ahead and reach out to one of our team members if you need help applying for ACH payments or have questions about U.S. Customs and duties!