Speedy Air Cargo encourages and helps clients establish an Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment program with U.S. Customs. We highly recommend the ACH program, as it is the most efficient means of duty settlement available. Under this method, duties will be withdrawn directly from the importer’s bank account and paid to Customs at the optimal time, all under the careful supervision of our brokers.
To get started with ACH, the importer should confirm that their bank participates in the National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA). A checking, savings or disbursement account can be used for ACH purposes. Customs, for security reasons, does not store bank account information in its Automated Commercial System (ACS); only the Customs National Finance Center (NFC) and ACH processing bank have account information. An application to participate in the ACH program can be obtained from Speedy’s brokerage department.
As the Customs broker, Speedy Air Cargo uses the importer’s ACH Payer Number to initiate duty payment transmission to U.S. Customs on their behalf. Each payment executed by the broker will be noted separately on the importer’s bank statement. To facilitate the ACH method of duty settlement, Speedy’s brokers utilize the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) system.
U.S. Customs requires that all duties and fees be paid no later than ten days from the shipment clearance date. To facilitate payment at the optimal time, Speedy prints the importer’s Preliminary Statement on the eighth day after customs clearance. Our brokers then initiate payment by keying the Customs Preliminary Statement Number and Payer Number into ABI. Next, we receive notification of payment acceptance and watch the next day for receipt of a Final Statement.
Speedy’s brokers invoice and mail bills the day the file is processed so customers know in advance when the duties/fees will be transacted with Customs. If the importer prefers, we can fax a copy of the Preliminary Statement in advance (i.e., the fifth day after clearance), showing when payment will be initiated (the eighth day).
Under the ACH Credit system, the importer (instead of the broker) transmits funds directly to U.S. Customs using their ACH Payer Number. In this case, the importer receives a fax of the Preliminary Statement from Speedy’s brokerage department advising them when the eighth day is. We recommend sending the Preliminary Statement to the importer prior to the eighth day (on the fifth as described above) to allow plenty of time for payment notification.
If you have any questions regarding the U.S. ACH program, give Speedy Air Cargo a call.