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Port of Cleveland – Renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
September 3, 2015
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On June 29, 2015, the President signed H.R. 1295, which reauthorizes the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), through December 31, 2017. Under the new law, GSP duty reductions will resume 30 days after the law was enacted, effective July 29, 2015. Further, H.R. 1295 also extends duty reductions retroactively, allowing for a refund of all duties paid on GSP-eligible merchandise that was entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption during the lapse period from August 1, 2013 through July 28, 2015.

Accordingly, filers will be entitled to submit GSP-eligible entry summaries, utilizing the Special Program Indicator (SPI) “A”, “A+”, and “A*”, without the payment of duty for shipments entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption effective July 29, 2015.

Recognizing the impact that retroactive renewal and consequent numerous re-liquidations will have on filers and CBP field offices, the Office of International Trade (OT) and the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) developed a mechanism to facilitate refunds for certain entries. We anticipate that this automated mechanism will process the majority of entries submitted during the lapse period.

CBP has begun processing refunds for entries filed via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) with SPis “A”, “A+”, and “A*” for duties deposited on GSP-eligible goods during the period from August l, 2013 through July 28, 2015. We anticipate that the automated processing, which identifies entries eligible for refunds, will run for approximately eight to twelve weeks. During this period, we ask port officials (1) to allow those automated entries to re-liquidate with a refund, and (2) to refrain from processing any written requests for refunds.

Once the automated process runs its course, headquarters will issue a second memorandum notifying that the automatic refunds have been processed. The memo will also provide guidance and a spreadsheet of those entry summaries filed via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) with SPis “A”, “A+”, and “A*” for duties deposited on GSP-eligible goods during the period from August 1, 2013 through July 28, 2015, but the batch process was not able to automatically process the refunds. Each po1i will perform the refunds for their port for these entry summaries.

Once the ports have completed the processing of refunds identified on the spreadsheet, each will begin processing the refund requests that they received in paper, i.e. Post Entry Amendments (PEA), protest, etc., ensuring that a double refund is not issued. Importers can claim their duty refunds by filing a request for liquidation or re-liquidation with CBP within 180 days of the renewal’s enactment, that is, by December 28, 2015. These requests for refunds must be made in writing 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. Claims may be made via post-entry amendment or protest as long as they meet the applicable time requirements. Any amounts owed by the United States pursuant to the liquidation or re-liquidation of an entry will be paid without interest.

For ACE entry summaries where no SPI was transmitted, retroactive GSP claims may be made via post-summary correction (PSC), if the correction is filed by the earlier of the entry’s PSC filing time limit or the December 28, 2015 deadline. Should that PSC time limit expire prior to the December 28, 2015 deadline, the GSP refund claim may be made via written request in accordance with the legislation. GSP refunds for all other entry summaries (e.g., warehouse withdrawals, change liquidations, re-liquidations, and suspended entry summaries) will be processed in accordance with normal liquidation or re-liquidation procedures. A liquidation or re-liquidation may be made with respect to an entry only if a request is filed with CBP no later than December 28, 2015.