title
Print Preview

ACH


What is ACH

CBP Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) is an electronic payment option that allows participants to pay customs fees, duties, and taxes electronically, as well as receive refunds of customs duties, taxes and fees electronically. ACH is a straightforward procedure accomplished through a series of simple electronic transactions. Throughout the process there are no paper payments and no cashiers.

ACH automates the time consuming method of using cash and checks to pay duties and fees on imported merchandise. ACH also automates the time consuming process of depositing Treasury checks, eliminating the delay and risk associated with receiving Treasury checks through the mail. The accuracy and speed of ACH results in a higher volume of completed transactions for the importer and CBP, saving time and money. ACH fulfills the need for swift, accurate payment transfers in today's competitive business environment.

CBP offers three ACH options: ACH Debit, ACH Credit, and ACH Refund.

ACH Debit is available to ABI filers using statement processing and can be used to pay all customs duties, taxes, and fees. (For information on ABI and statement processing, see Automated Broker Interface page.)

ACH Credit is available to anyone that clears formal entries on statements. In order to be on ACH Credit, the company or filer must be on ABI and Statement processing. Can also be used to pay supplemental, reimbursable and miscellaneous duty bills.

ACH Refund is available to anyone who has a taxpayer-assigned identification number, an U.S. bank account, and who expects to receive a refund from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (such as drawback)

 

 

General ACH Questions

Q: Does my bank have to be an ACH participant?

A: Yes. Your bank must belong to the National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA).

 

Q: Can I use the same ACH payer number for more than one bank account?

A: No. Each bank account must have a unique ACH payer number.

 

Q: How soon after my ACH payment authorization is accepted will my bank account be debited?

A: ACH transactions will usually, but not necessarily always, be debited from the payer's account two business days from the date the ACH payment transmission is accepted. Business days now include federal holidays and bank holidays. Because banking institutions perform "electronic sweeps" at different times, it is not possible to guarantee that exactly two business days will elapse between the time of ACH payment authorization and the actual debit. The precise timing of an individual debit is determined solely by the ACH payer's bank. Certain payers' banks have been found, although infrequently, to debit accounts on Saturdays and Sundays. To avoid potential problems, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Revenue Division, very strongly urges all ACH payers to ensure that sufficient funds are available at the time each and every ACH payment transaction is authorized.

 

Q: How will I recognize the ACH debit on my bank statement?

A: The debit amount on your statement will have a U.S. Customs and Border Protection notation. If your bank uses the CCD+ format, your statement will include the CBP statement number.

 

 

ACH Debit Questions

Q: Is my bank account information stored in the CBP system?

A: No. For security reasons, CBP does not store bank account information in ACS. CBP keeps only your ACH payer number. The National Finance Center and the ACH processor bank have your account information.

 

Q: I am an importer who uses several brokers. Do I need an ACH payer number for each broker?

A: No. The same payer number can be given to each broker. Each broker's payment will be noted separately on your bank statement. There are no consolidated debits.

 

Q: Can I use the same ACH payer number for more than one bank account?

A: No. Each bank account must have a unique ACH payer number.

 

Q: How soon after my ACH payment authorization is accepted will my bank account be debited?

A: ACH transactions will usually, but not necessarily always, be debited from the payer's account two business days from the date the ACH payment transmission is accepted. Business days now include federal holidays and bank holidays. Because banking institutions perform "electronic sweeps" at different times, it is not possible to guarantee that exactly two business days will elapse between the time of ACH payment authorization and the actual debit. The precise timing of an individual debit is determined solely by the ACH payer's bank. Certain payers' banks have been found, although infrequently, to debit accounts on Saturdays and Sundays. To avoid potential problems, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Finance Center very strongly urges all ACH payers to ensure that sufficient funds are available at the time each and every ACH payment transaction is authorized.

 

Q: How will I recognize the ACH debit on my bank statement?

A: The debit amount on your statement will have a U.S. Customs and Border Protection notation. If your bank uses the CCD+ format, your statement will include the CBP statement number.

 

 

ACH Credit Questions

Q: How do I notify my financial institution to originate a transmission?

A: The financial industry provides methods for initiating the ACH Credit transaction, including telephone, PC dial-up, and floppy disk options. Your financial institution will help you determine which method is best for you.

 

Q: How do I determine when to initiate my ACH Credit transaction?

A: You must originate your transaction at least one-two days prior to the payment due date. (Some banks take two days to process your transaction so please discuss with your bank.) You control the settlement date. You must obtain statement number and amount due from your broker/filer. You need to contact your broker/filer and decide how to best be notified of your payment obligations.

 

Q: Will I be notified that CBP received my payment?

A: The transaction should be listed on the statement that you receive from your financial institution. The final statement, available through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) on the first business day after the statement is paid, lists all paid entry summaries and serves as payment confirmation for statement payers. For example: Payment date is 5-4-00 broker will receive final statement on 5-5-00 if all information is correct. If an error has occurred on the addendum record and CBP will have to manually apply your payment the broker will receive the final one business day after payment has been applied. For example: Payment date is 5-4-00 an error was on addendum record CBP manually applied payment on 5-5-00 broker will receive final statement on 5-8-00.

 

Q: How will I be notified if there is a problem?

A: Your financial institution will receive an electronic message if the transmission failed between your bank and CBP bank. If the transmission is successful, no message is returned.

 

Q: What happens if there is an error on the addendum record?

A: If information sent on the addendum record does not match CBP computer information, you will be notified via fax of the problem and asked to provide additional information so the payment can be applied and to ensure that future payments do not result in the same error happening again.

 

Q: What happens if there is a discrepancy in the payment amount?

A: CBP cannot reverse the transmission. If the payment exceeds the amount due, CBP applies the payment and refunds the excess to your company. Refunds are made through the existing Treasury check disbursement process, not through ACH. If payment is less than the amount due, you will be notified via fax of the amount due and will need to send additional balance through the ACH system. Once additional amount due is received then your statement can be paid. CBP can not partially pay statements. Statements will be credited as of the collection date that the complete payment is received.

 

Q: If I am a current ACH Debit participant, what are my options?

A: Choose the process that best suits the payment type. You can use all available features of both

 

 

ACH Credit and Debit.

Q: What happens if I double pay a statement through ACH Credit?

A: CBP will receive both payments and your company will be refunded through the normal refund process for the duplicate payment. You should not initiate a reversal through your bank.

 

Q: What happens if I initiate a reversal through the ACH process?

A: The CBP bank does not accept reversals of previous transactions as CBP has already received and processed the duplicate payment for a refund to your company.

 

 

ACH Refund Questions

Q: What if my checks normally go in care of my broker? Can my electronic payment go in care of my broker?

A: No. The electronic payment will go directly to the bank account that was provided to us on the ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form. If you maintain a CF 4811 on file with CBP, your Courtesy Notice of Liquidation (CF 4333-A) will continue to be mailed to your broker.

 

Q: What if my Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) has several suffixes? Will I have to submit an ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form for each suffix?

A: Yes, if you want your refunds deposited into separate accounts for each Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) suffix, we will need a separate ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form for each suffix. If you want all refunds for all IR number suffixes to go to one account, then only submit one ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form and attach a list of each suffix you wish to include for ACH refunds.

 

Q: Can I use my CBP Assigned Number for my Vendor ID?

A: No, we can only accept your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) for your Vendor ID.

 

Q: When will my refund be electronically deposited into my account?

A: The refund will be deposited into your account two business days from the liquidation date. Normally, the liquidation date is Friday (unless Friday is a holiday) so the refund will be deposited into your account on Tuesday.

 

Q: If I have several refunds due, will I get one lump sum?

A: No, you will not receive one lump sum. You will receive a separate transmission for each refund owed. CBP will use the CCD+ (Cash Concentration or Disbursement Plus) ACH format, which contains a single payment and a single addendum record.

 

Q: How will I know I received my refund payment?

A: The payment information, provided by CBP, includes the routing instructions, the payee identifier and the refund amount. You and your bank should agree how and when the payment information will be provided to your company.

 

Q: How will I know what the refund is for?

A: The addenda record will identify the payment. The addenda record, depending upon the type of payment, includes information such as the entry/collection document number, liquidation date, interest amount, and the reason for the refund. You and your bank should agree how and when the addendum information will be provided to your company.

 

Q: What should I do if my banking information changes after I sign up for this program?

A: Notify us immediately at (317) 298-1200, extension 1178. We will send you another ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form for you and your bank to make the necessary changes. Return the completed form to the address or fax number indicated on the form and we will update your records.

 

Q: What if I do not notify CBP of banking changes? What happens to my refund?

A: We will make an attempt to contact you when we are notified by our bank that your electronic payment was not received successfully. Please note this may cause a delay of any future refund payments if we cannot reach you timely. If we cannot reach you, your refund payments will revert back to paper checks that will be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service.

 

How do I participate in ACH debit?

To participate, you must file entries through ABI using statement processing (such as T Customs is ABI participants) and your financial institution must be a U.S. bank NACHA participant with Electronic Data Interchange capability. Importer payers must also have a federal identification number (tax ID number or social security number). ACH applications can find on the download forms link

Please confirm with your bank, the banks transit routing number and your account number to avoid transactional errors. The payer will be held responsible for any errors that result from incorrect account information.

Complete an ACH debit application form. If multiple accounts are to be used, complete a separate application for each account. If you use more than one broker, only one broker needs to be identified on the application. Be sure all bank information on the application matches the information on the check specification sheet.

You can send it to us or mail/fax/email the application directly to the U.S.Customs and Border Protection Revenue Division at:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Revenue Division
ACH Debit Applications
6650 Telecom Drive, Ste 100
Indianapolis, IN 46278

Phone: (317) 298-1200 x1098
FAX: (317) 298-1259
E-mail: ACH-CUSTOMS@dhs.gov
 

The usual application processing time is 7 to 10 business days. The Revenue Division will contact you in writing to inform you of your payer unit number and the effective date of your ACH participation.
 

Benefits of ACH Debit

  • Obtain up to an additional 10 days to pay duties, taxes, and fees on quota and other special merchandise classes.
  • Reduce administrative processing and costs.
  • Pay all ABI statements in a central location.
  • Reduce administrative errors related to check processing.
  • Eliminate lost or stolen check problems.
  • Control cash flow by identifying the exact day to allocate funds.

 

ACH Debit Process

Step 1:

The Filer Receives the Preliminary Statement. CBP generates a preliminary statement of entry summaries scheduled for payment and transmits it to the filer through ABI.The filer prints and reviews the statement. If the filer deletes an entry summary from thestatement through ABI, a new statement amount is transmitted to the filer.

 

Step 2:

The Filer Transmits ACH Payment Authorization. The filer transmits the payment authorization to CBP through ABI. The filer sends one ACH payment authorization per statement, usually the same day the statement and entry summaries are submitted to CBP. All ACH payment authorizations are initiated by the filer--CBP takes no payment steps until the ACH payment authorization is received and accepted.

 

Step 3:

The Filer Receives A Confirmation Message. If the ACH payment authorization transmission is error free, the filer receives a message that the authorization has been accepted. If transmission errors occur, the filer receives an error message for each incorrect transmission until the problem is corrected and authorization is properly transmitted.

 

Step 4: The Filer Receives the Final Statement. CBP transmits a final statement to the filer, usually on the first business day after the payment authorization is received, accepted, and processed by CBP. The final statement lists all paid summaries and serves as a payment receipt.

 

Step 5: All Accounts are Credited and Debited. After ACH payment authorization is approved, funds transfer begins. CBP transmits payment information to the ACH processor bank and the Treasury account is credited. The ACH processor bank then transmits the data to the payer's bank. The payer's account is debited usually two business days after CBP accepts the initial payment authorization.

 

ACH Debit Security Measures

ACH is secure. There are measures to safeguard the payer's account information and ensure the correct amount is debited.

 

How ACH debit manage by Broker?

Once you received a letter from Revenue division informing you the Payer Unit Number, please forward the letter or inform us of your payer unit number.

Once a shipment been released, it will be show up on the preliminary daily statement on the 8th working day. The statement will show information such as, entry number, port of filing, duty and fee amount that will be deducted from your account. The preliminary daily statement will be sent to your broker by CBP.

We will forward the statement to you and upon receive that, please check if all information are correct especially in regards to duty and fees amount.

If there is correction need to be addresses, please let us know by the next day the latest. Otherwise the payment will be confirm and submitted to CBP by the broker on the 10th day

Depending on your bank process, the fund withdrawal could take 1-2 business from the 10th day.

 


Print Preview
Go to Top