[size=35]GSP applies retroactively: how can importers claim benefits for past entries?[/size]
The Generalized System of Preferences was reauthorized on June 29, 2015
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued guidance to help importers with their retroactive GSP claims. Claims must be received on or before December 28, 2015. Refunds are expected to be paid without interest no later than 90 days after liquidation or re-liquidation. The retroactive clause does not apply to goods originating from countries that lost eligibility at any time during the lapse period, such as Bangladesh and Russia.
Before the program expired, CBP issued a CSMS (Cargo Systems Messaging Service) message dated July 12, 20131 to advise importers of GSP-eligible goods who make entries through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Automated Broker Interface (ABI) to pay the normal trade relations (column 1) duty rate once the program expired, but to continue to flag GSP-eligible importations with the applicable Special Program Indicator (SPI) A, A+, or A*. Now that the program has been reinstated, CBP will automatically process refunds for entries filed through ABI with the A, A+, or A* SPI. No additional action is required by these importers to obtain refunds, if due. CBP has stated that retroactive claims for unliquidated ACE entry summaries that did not contain a GSP SPI must be made via post-summary correction (PSC) where both the 270 day PSC filing requirement as well as the December 28, 2015 deadline can be met.
Importers who filed entries outside of the ACE ABI system and paid duty must submit a GSP claim by December 28, 2015 to obtain a refund. CBP’s requirements for such claims depend on how the entry was filed, whether the entry is liquidated or unliquidated, and whether the SPI was indicated. These claims (including ABI entries that did not use the SPI) must be filed by requesting liquidation or re-liquidation and providing sufficient information for US CBP to locate the entry, or to reconstruct the entry if it cannot be found. To that end, CBP has advised importers to include at a minimum the entry number, line number and requested refund amount in written requests for refunds. Importers should expect longer processing time for these claims.