CBMA - Are You Getting Your Refunds?

Posted 07/11/2019

WSSA hosted a meeting at CBP/US Customs headquarters in Washington DC on July 2 to discuss the current issues and future prospects of the CBMA legislation. Growing importer frustration with lack of response to claims and discrepancies in processing information drove us to arrange the meeting with the top CBMA team at Customs. We wanted to alert our member of the meeting results.

  • The current process for handling CBMA is unmanageable. It is an off-line process as a 2-year law does not allow for funding for programming in the CBP system. CBP is doing the best they can to manage the data and has created a data base with over 1 million line items compiling the information from the required CBMA documents:  assignment certifications,  controlled group spreadsheets, and CBMA worksheets. 
  • Data quality is the biggest processing issue as they report over 70% of the data provided has errors.
  • Processing of PSC (Post Summary Correction) Claims has started and importers are receiving refunds, but it is a slow process as they are auditing the data closely due to the error level.  Checks are going out, and low-risk, low-value checks are processed more rapidly than others. Claims are being reviewed and processed in chronological order based on entry date. 
  • Processing of Protest (Claims filed post-liquidation of customs entries) has not yet started. They expect to start to review protests in the next few months. If you are advised that your Protest is "suspended" it is just pending review.
  • Bonded entries and withdrawals:  Bonded customs entries are liquidated as soon as the final withdrawal takes place. Thus, some entries removed from bond may have liquidated and had the filing deadline lapse prior to the October 16, 2018 publication of guidelines for processing claims. At this point, there is no recourse to claim CBMA rates on these entries.

We are working closely with CBP and other industry associations to improve and refine the CBMA process as we fully expect that CBMA will be extended or made permanent.  The process to claim CBMA for importers is too cumbersome and difficult to audit and enforce, thus finding a better process is essential, working within the scope of the intent of the law. There were many many more issues discussed in the meeting and please contact us should you want more details or are still uncertain about your CBMA eligibility or claim status.