Updated: Jun 18, 2020
(News Release) | National Association of Beverage Importers, Inc. | Washington, DC
NABI Seeks Regulatory Policy on Parity in Comment Letter to Customs and Border Protection in Response to Temporary Final Rule on Deferrals of Duties, Taxes, and Fees (USCBP 2020-0017)
Today, the National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI) asked Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to use this rulemaking as the opportunity to establish a regulatory policy for parity of treatment between domestic producers and importers of distilled spirits, wine, and beer. NABI fully understands that the scope of the deferral in the Temporary final rule was limited by the parameters set forth in the Executive Order signed by the President on April 18, 2020. Nevertheless, “as CBP confronts similar situations in the future, the established regulatory policy on parity of treatment would be factored into decisions made by CBP and the Administration where there is no rationale for treating importers and domestic producers differently” said NABI President Robert Tobiassen.
In the Temporary final rule, CBP gave importers a 90-day deferral on the deposits of estimated duties, taxes, and fees on withdrawals for consumption made in March or April 2020, where the importer suffered significant financial hardship as a result of a full or partial shutdown order due to COVID-19. For the same excise taxes on distilled spirits, wine, and beer paid by domestic producers, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) gave a 90-day postponement of tax payments where the original due dates were on and after March 1 through July 1, 2020, with no other conditions.
“Importers without a doubt are core American businesses” said Tobiassen, “who are strong supporters of their local communities, especially in these difficult times, and strong employers in those communities. This action does not provide parity for those beverage alcohol importers whose domestic counterparts have already received a 90-day deferral of their excise tax payments from TTB and without establishing a significant financial hardship.” NABI noted that imported beverage alcohol that is transferred in bond to a TTB regulated premise is receiving the 90-day benefit from TTB. Excise taxes on these same imported products paid to CBP should have parity of treatment. NABI greatly appreciates the many efforts by CBP to minimize trade impairment during the COVID-19 crisis and looks forward to working with CBP on the parity policy matter.
The comment letter is on public file at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCBP-2020-0017-0007
For more information, contact NABI at (202) 393-6224 or email email@example.com