On June 29, 2015, President Obama signed the Trade Preferences Act of 2015, renewing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program, effective June 29, 2015, through December 31, 2017. The program, reauthorized with retroactive effect, enables importers to claim duty refunds for all duties paid on GSP-eligible merchandise entered or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption during the lapse period from August 1, 2013, through July 28, 2015.
The duty refund process was divided into three phases, described below:
Phase I: Importers who paid duty on GSP-eligible goods, and filed their entries electronically using the appropriate GSP indicator (“A”, “A*”, “A+”), were automatically processed. Phase I processing was completed on September 28, 2015, with headquarters successfully processing 98 percent of such entry summaries.
Phase II: The remaining 2 percent of importers that filed their entries electronically using the appropriate indicator and received no liquidation/reliquidation; this group was assigned to the ports for further investigation, duty refund determination, and duty refund processing. The Phase II target completion date was November 6, 2015. Most ports have completed Phase II processing; however, some ports have requested extensions.
Phase III: The processing of importer-initiated refund requests submitted to the ports for entries made without using the GSP indicator. GSP refund requests received after December 28, 2015, will be denied. The sole exception is a re-submission of a previously submitted request.
Ports that have completed Phase II (manual refund processing) have begun Phase III processing of importer and broker initiated requests.
For those importers initiating their own duty refund requests; requests may be submitted as letters, Post Entry Amendments (PEA), Post Summary Corrections (PSC), Protests, or using other written medium (please be advised that this is not a “true Protest” but in this instance is an acceptable vehicle to claim a GSP refund).
Additional information about the Generalized System of Preferences reauthorization is available through CBP’s Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS). For additional questions, please send an email to Deringer’s Compliance Department.