Effective July 29, the Generalized System of Preferences will be reauthorized through Dec. 31, 2017, with retroactive relief for eligible products imported since GSP expired on July 31, 2013. However, retroactive benefits will only be applicable to goods and countries that are GSP-eligible as of July 29, thus excluding imports from Russia and Bangladesh.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently posted to its website instructions for filers entitled to file GSP-eligible entry summaries utilizing special program indicator A, A+ or A*, as applicable, without the payment of duty for shipments entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption effective July 29. Goods entered between July 31, 2013 and July 29, 2015 will be liquidated or re-liquidated as though they had entered before the program expired. CBP notes that a process is in place by which importers can claim their duty refunds by filing a request for liquidation or re-liquidation with CBP by Dec. 28. CBP will refund the duties no later than 90 days after liquidation or re-liquidation.

CBP will begin processing for entries filed via the Automated Broker Interface into CBP’s old Automatic Commercial System or into the new Automated Commercial Environment with SPI A, A+ or A* for duties deposited on GSP-eligible goods during the lapse period. Therefore, no action is required for entries filed with any of these SPIs. For unliquidated ACE entry summaries where no SPI was transmitted, retroactive GSP claims must be made via post-summary correction, where applicable (i.e., if the entry meets the time requirements for PSC filing as well as the Dec. 28 deadline).

All other requests for refunds must be made in writing by Dec. 28 and must contain sufficient information to enable CBP to locate the entry. To expedite the refund, CBP recommends that the request indicate the entry number, line number and requested refund amount. Any amounts owed pursuant to the liquidation or re-liquidation of an entry will be paid without interest.

When GSP expired in the past a small percentage of entries with an A, A+ or A* SPI did not automatically receive a refund due to certain technical issues. Importers are therefore advised to monitor their refunds to make sure that all eligible entries receive refunds. If a refund is not received, the importer can file a claim as long as it is within the regular time parameters for claims where no SPI was included on the original entry.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg can help importers identify entries where a GSP refund is scheduled as well as potential additional entries eligible for refunds using ACE reports. For more information, please contact Rob DeCamp at (212) 549-0141 or Tom Gould at (661) 202-3358.

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