The U.S. has free trade agreements that eliminate tariffs and lower other trade barriers with 20 trading partners. Additionally, preference programs like the Generalized System of Preferences, the Caribbean Basin Initiative, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act offer duty-free and reduced duty treatment to imports from more than 100 developing countries. There are also provisions in the U.S. tariff schedule that allow duty-free imports of certain products, including U.S.-made goods returned from abroad.

However, rules for taking advantage of these benefits are often different between and even within each FTA and preference program, and they are subject to change if the U.S. renegotiates or revises the agreements. Moreover, government agencies are watching with increased scrutiny to make sure the appropriate requirements are met and can hit violators with hefty penalties.

ST&R professionals can help you successfully use these tools by reviewing policies, procedures, and controls; documenting program eligibility; establishing recordkeeping systems to support origin and preference claims; and working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to resolve questions or disputes about product eligibility that could cause goods to be detained or seized. ST&R also has a proven track record of helping companies advocate for their interests as new FTAs are negotiated and existing ones are updated.

Why Use ST&R’s FTA and Trade Preference Services

Maximizing benefits: ST&R has obtained accelerated duty elimination and favorable rule of origin changes under multiple FTAs.

Compliance: We have successfully defended companies in audits by U.S. and foreign governments examining eligibility claims.

Reasonable care: We offer expert training and compliance reviews of third-party vendors to support your exercise of reasonable care.


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