On July 31, 2013, benefits under the trade program known as the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) expired. To reinstate benefits, the United States Congress must pass an act reauthorizing the program. It remains unclear when Congress will reinstate GSP or if they will make the benefits retroactive. In the past when GSP expired, Congress made the program retroactive allowing reimbursement for all entries since expiration.
At present, CBP has made no provision to prevent liquidation (finalization) of goods eligible for GSP entered during the interim period. Dependent upon the language of any future legislation renewing the benefit, this could effectively bar an importer from recovering any qualifying duties and fees retroactively. An importer may file a protest with CBP in an attempt to “stop the clock” until such a time as Congress takes action in regard to the program.
Deringer strongly recommends that importers with entries of merchandise subject to GSP, which shipped in the last year, contact their Deringer representative to discuss the potential impact.