To all our valued customers and vendors:
We hope you are all safe, healthy, and managing as best possible during these uncertain times. M.E. Dey is working hard to remain a valuable resource to you, our customers, and will continue to provide updates on freight and trade-related matters. We hope to offer useful information as your partner to assist you in managing your business and making informed decisions during COVID-19.
Many of our customers have asked about options available for deferment of freight and duties or other options to extend their credit because of financial impacts of the pandemic. Here is a brief review of industry updates and some options that you may be able to take advantage of in minimizing the impact of COVID-19:
- U.S. Customs duties: President Trump was considering some relief for importers by offering deferral of duties up to 90 days for tariffs on most favored nation countries. The relief did not however include the additional duties on Chinese goods or the 232 duties on Aluminum and Steel. As of Friday April 3, the White House advises they are no longer considering these deferrals, as it was too complicated.
- For importers not currently on direct ACH payment of duties to Customs via Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS), there are many cash flow advantages to signing up for this program. Benefits include:
- Duties can be paid as late as the 15th working day of the following month.
- Shifts the payment process from a transaction-by-transaction process to aN interest-free periodic monthly process.
- Provides additional flexibility to manage working capital required for duty payments.
- Please contact M.E. Dey for help in signing up for this program or complete the following ACH Application form.
- Canadian Duties: The Canadian Government announced deferral of Duty, GST and HST until June 2020 to address the economic strain of COVID-19 for some importers. See Canadian Customs Notice 20-11 here.
- Freight Charges: There are unfortunately no contingencies being offered by the carriers. In fact, due to market disruption and uncertainty, many airlines are now requiring payment of freight charges in advance of accepting cargo.Consequently, these fees may be due sooner than in the past. We will work with you to the extent possible in managing the impact of both our organizations
- Storage and Demurrage Fees incurred: To date, there is no relief by the carriers or terminals for fees that may accrue as a result of a company not able to accept delivery because they are on shut down due to COVID-19. Read more in an article by FMC attorney Carlos Rodriguez, on efforts for remedy.
- Relief available for business expenses through Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): We highly recommend looking into the numerous relief measures offered through the SBA loans and Payroll Tax Credits. These funds can be used to cover current and previous expenses for companies who have realized substantial economic injury due to COVID-19. Many companies qualify for loan forgiveness and may be relieved of paying the funds back. Click here for a summary of the CARES act and available resources. Contact your accountant, banker or an SBA lender for how to apply for these programs.
We at M.E. Dey face our own challenges during this disruption in international trade and the impact it has had on you, our customers. We will continue to work with you to ensure your business supply chain is not disrupted and help accommodate the impacts this has on your business to the extent possible. We are not however in a position to offer relief from freight or duties, which we have advanced on your behalf. We appreciate your cooperation in maintaining payment processes to ensure cargo is not unnecessarily delayed.
We will continue to update you on programs and contingencies available from U.S. Customs, transportation providers and other government agencies that affect your business.
Please stay safe and stay connected,
M.E. Dey & Co., Inc.