CBMA: Update on TTB Report and Future Process

Posted 07/22/2021

As we reported in our update on CBMA permanence, anyone participating in CBMA will see a major change on January 1, 2023.  While all details are not yet available, the preliminary report on the change has been published by Treasury. We have been reviewing the report over the past few weeks and will be continuing to discuss, review, and provide comments and questions to TTB and CBP officials.

The full report and official release can be found here and fulfills the initial requirement of the legislation mandating the publication of the future process within 6 months of the passage of the law. One of the first items we were waiting for was the decision on which division of the Department of the Treasury will handle the CBMA claims as both IRS and TTB were discussed. The first key point is that TTB will be the agency handling the claims. We believe this is a good choice due to the experience TTB already has with beverage alcohol as a commodity and the CBMA law. A few other key points are summarized below

Summary of key points:

  • TTB will administer the refund process and advised that they will require new positions and additional funding
  • The CBMA claim filing process will be via on-line portals created by TTB with 2 new modules
    • Foreign supplier module where foreign supplier directly inputs the assignment certification information.
    • Importer module where importer (or possibly assigned party) files the claim with appropriate information on the entry covered.
  • Refund claim cycle is Quarterly but the filer can choose to file less frequently
  • Importer must keep CBMA required documents on file for inspection or submission to TTB as requested. 
  • Importers may need to post a surety bond (we would suggest that the customs bond is adequate)
  • The seven (7) CBMA information element implemented by Customs this year will continue to be required.
  • Joint enforcement and audit efforts by TTB and CBP.

There are a number of points in the report that are concerning, and we are reviewing with other industry associations to provide feedback and suggestions. We have received many questions from importers in terms of specific issues, from warehouse entries, to interest payments, to foreign supplier registration. Our goal will be to work with all stakeholders to achieve the best possible process and full protection of CBMA benefits. Should you have any questions on the report, please let us know. We will keep all of you advised as the process develops over the next 18 months, and will certainly be offering webinars and training as we get closer to the go live date.