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UPDATED: 5/7/05

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

We would like to take this opportunity to advise you about the U.S. Customs Automated Clearinghouse system. This is a system that has been devised by the Customs Service to expedite duty payments. Cambell & Gardiner has been using this system for many years, and we feel that it is very beneficial to most importers. Please take the time to read through the material. Should you have any questions about the system or would like assistance in applying, please do not hesitate to call.


With ACH credit, the payer initiates payment through their financial institution. Their financial institution then electronically transmits the payment through the ACH/Federal Reserve network to the Customs account maintained by the Treasury Department.

Benefits of ACH Credit:
  • Payer controls the initiation and timing of payments.
  • Payer controls the date funds are debited.
  • Immediate posting of payment transactions.
  • Fraction of the costs of FEDWIRE.
  • Eliminates lost or stolen check problems.
  • Reduces administrative and check processing costs.

ACH Credit Formats

The ACH Credit program uses the National Automated Clearinghouse Association's (NACHA) payment conventions. You can send ACH Credit transactions in one of the following formats:
  • CCD+ Cash Concentration or Disbursement Plus contains a single payment and a single addendum record.
  • CTX Corporate Trade Exchange contains a single payment with multiple addendum records.
  • CCD+ and CTX, along with the TXP-Tax Payment addendum format, are required by Customs.

ACH Credit Process

Step 1: The Payer Provides the Necessary Data to Their Financial Institution. Customs provides the payer with a payment format, which the payer then gives to the financial institution. The data requirements include Customs transit routing number, Customs account number, payer identifier, settlement date (the date the account is scheduled to be debited), total payment amount, document number being paid, document payment amount, and payment type.

Step 2: The Payer Initiates the Payment Transaction. The payer follows their financial institution's procedures for initiating payment. The transaction must originate at least one day prior to the settlement date.

Step 3: The Treasury Department Transmits the Information to Customs and Payment is Posted. If the amount paid matches the amount due, the payment is posted. If there is a discrepancy, Customs will manually reconcile the transaction, which may cause a delay in posting the payment.

Step 4: The Federal Reserve Notifies the Financial Institution that Payment was Received. The transaction will be listed on the payer's bank statement, or through other arrangements made with the bank.


With ACH Debit, the payer transmits payment authorization to Customs, and Customs sends the payment information through the network to the payer's financial institution.

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. Customs 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 the statement 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 Customs through ABI. The filer sends one ACH payment authorization per statement, usually the same day the statement and entry summaries are submitted to Customs. All ACH payment authorizations are initiated by the filer--Customs 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. Customs transmits a final statement to the filer, usually on the first business day after the payment authorization is received, accepted, and processed by Customs. 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. Customs 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 Customs accepts the initial payment authorization.


Please complete the attached form and fax it to the appropriate party as indicated on the form. It normally takes 5-7 business days for you to recieve your payer number. ACH APPLICATION FORM(.doc)

Periodic Montly Statement

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