Starting on July 29, 2015, importers can begin to take advantage of the retroactive renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. GSP is Back! This means:

  1. Entering GSP-eligible products without having to pay duties; and
  2. Claiming refunds for duties paid while the program was lapsed (July 31, 2013 – July 29, 2015)

Entering GSP-Eligible Products

Products eligible for duty-free entry into the United States should be filed by placing before the tariff number one of these special indicators – “A”, “A+” or “A*” (as explained in General Note 4 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States). One of these indicators in the “Special” column of the HTSUS indicates that the product is eligible for duty-free entry under GSP when imported from an eligible country.

Claiming Your RefundMoney

Refund claims for duties paid while the program was lapsed are being processed by CBP as follows:

  1. Product was entered in ABI using the Special Indicator: No action is required by the importer. CBP has indicated its intention to begin automated processing of these refunds shortly.
  2. Product was entered in ABI without the Special Indicator: The importer must file a written request for a refund with the relevant Port Director.
  3. Product was manually entered: Whether entered with or without the special indicator, the importer must file a written request for refund with the relevant Port Director. This includes duties paid on baggage brought in by travelers using Customs Declaration Form CF 6059B.

Written requests must be submitted by December 28, 2015. No interest will be paid on the amounts owed to the importer.

Planning Ahead

GSP was renewed for only two years, and again lapses on December 31, 2017, unless renewed before that date. Sadly, importers probably need to anticipate the possible lapse of GSP and hope for the possibility of claiming a refund on duties paid while the program was lapsed. Should this situation recur, importers using the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) will, again, be able to receive automatic processing of refunds.

Importers should also not forget that the GSP program has been extended to cover additional products.

Contact us for more information and/or assistance with requesting your refund!