For those of you that relied on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and are now subject to duties, CBP sent a notice today that directly impacts you.

A previous post discussed the expiration of GSP and need for congressional action to renew it. GSP expired July 31, 2013. Importers were advised to continue to use the Special Program Indicator (SPI) “A” when importing into the U.S., which would signify a valid claim for GSP but to pay duty subsequent to that date, so that in the event of a retroactive renewal, CBP could process refunds automatically.

Unfortunately, the picture above is still correct – the trade community is in limbo – will we get our duties refunded if we are entitled to GSP?  The answer… Yes, Maybe, No.  Not comforting or reassuring.

Today, CBP advised the trade community that:

.. neither requests to extend liquidation under 19 CFR 159.12, nor protest under 19 CFR Part 174, should be used to stop the liquidation of claim potential subject to GSP in anticipation that GSP will be renewed. Assuming that the goods were properly classified and appraised, they should be liquidated as scheduled. CBP does not have the legal authority to further extend liquidation pending possible renewal of GSP.

If GSP were to be renewed, the legislation would specify an effective date of for the date of renewal. The renewal date, if GSP is reauthorized, might or might allow for retroactive claims. On previous occasions when GSP was renewed retroactively, the legislation authorized CBP to disregard liquidation status in determining GSP eligibility and consequent refunds.

If you have any questions on Free Trade Agreements or GSP issues, please contact me anytime at