Effective July 29, 2015, Congress and President Obama reinstated the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides duty-free treatment for selected goods from “beneficiary developing countries.”
H.R. 1295, The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (“the Act”), was introduced in the House on March 14, 2015, and extends the GSP, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and duty preferences for Haiti. The Act states that notwithstanding section 1514 (19 U.S.C. 1514) or any other provision of law, any entry of a covered article eligible for preferential treatment under title V of the Trade Act of 1974 that was made after July 31, 2013 and before the effective date of the Act which is July 29, 2015, shall be liquidated or reliquidated as though such entry occurred on the effective date of the Act.
The Act, as passed and signed by the President, reinstates GSP through December 31, 2017. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recently provided for an application and automation process for retroactive renewal of GSP. If an ABI entry summary was filed with payment of estimated duties using the Special Program Indicator (SPI) for GSP (with the letter "A," "A+," or "A*") as a prefix to the tariff number, no further action by the filer is required; filings with the SPI "A," "A+," or "A*" will be treated as confirming requests for refunds. If an ABI entry summary was filed with payment of estimated duties without the use of the SPI "A," "A+," or "A*" as a prefix to the tariff number, a refund of duties deposited must be requested in writing as described below for non-ABI entry summaries.
Non-ABI filers must request a refund in writing from the Port Director at the port of entry by December 28, 2015, regardless if they previously designated a refund on the Customs Form 7501 by using the SPI "A," "A+," or "A*" code. The request may cover either single entry summaries or all entry summaries filed by an individual filer at a single port. To expedite refunds, CBP recommends the following information be included in each letter:
1. A statement requesting a refund, as provided by section 201 of Title II of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015;
2. An enumeration of the entry numbers and line items for which refunds are requested; and
3. The amount requested to be refunded for each line item and the total amount owed (not including interest) for all entry summaries.
Customs also noted that GSP reauthorization provides retroactive benefits only to goods from a country that is a beneficiary of the GSP program as of July 29, 2015. Retroactive application of GSP does not apply to countries such as Bangladesh and Russia that lost eligibility between July 31, 2013 and July 29, 2015.
We recommend that your company identify any records which might be necessary for Customs to locate or reconstruct subject entries so that retroactive refunds can be claimed at once through a letter application if needed. NPLLP would be happy to make these applications on your company’s behalf.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.