Trade Alert – CBP has Commenced Billing for Retroactive Merchandise Processing Fee


There has been a recent spike in the number of new supplemental duty bills issued to importers since the start of the new year.  This is due in large part to the retroactive increase of the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) enacted by Congress under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011.  It was signed into law by President Obama on October 21, 2011 and increases the MPF on formal entries from 0.21% to 0.3464% effective October 1, 2011.  The MPF is an additional assessment, in addition to the estimated duty, due from an importer at the time of entry summary filing to cover the administrative costs of CBP incurred in the entry process.  However, CBP automated commercial system programming was not updated to account for this change until November 5, 2011 thus Customs brokers and importers who direct file were unable to process entries with the increased MPF for entries occurring from October 1 through November 4, 2011.  Also, CBP was further delayed in commencing the billing of the retroactive MPF until refund processing for certain trade programs including but not limited to GSP was completed but CPB has now begun to issue the retroactive MPF bills for the period of October 1 through November 4, 2011.  The retroactive increase has affected over 650,000 entry summaries and is being processed in batches of 20,000 entries on a weekly basis until complete.  It is worthy to note that CBP will not be generating bills on entries for retroactive MPF below $20.00.  It is important that importers keep a watchful eye for these bills and pay them within (30) days of receipt.  Failure to pay these bills for the retroactive MPF on a timely basis could result in demands for payment issued to the importer’s Customs bond, placement on the National Sanction List and loss of immediate delivery privileges.  We have included a link to the CBP website for additional information:Retroactive Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) Billing