On March 22, 2018, the House of Representatives approved “The Consolidated Appropriations Act-2018” (the “Act”), which includes a renewal of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through December 31, 2020.
The Senate is set to vote to approve the bill before midnight Friday. The bill will be effective 30 days after the date of the enactment of the Act.
Once signed into law by the President, the Act will renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) preferential duty program, which expired on December 31, 2017. The renewal will be retroactive, meaning that otherwise-eligible GSP merchandise entered between December 31, 2017, and the effective date of the law will be eligible for refunds of duty.
Importantly, the duty refunds will NOT be automatic. The Act provides that importers will need to file a refund “request” with CBP. We anticipate that Customs will issue a directive establishing guidelines for filing refund requests. CBP previously advised importers to continue to flag GSP-eligible importations with the SPI “A” or “A*” pay duty pending the reinstatement of the GSP Program. CBP had indicated that it was developing programing to provide for the batch processing of refunds on all duty paid entries which were filed with SPI “A” or SPI “A*.” If entries were not flagged with the SPI or batch processing does not occur, the Act states that refund requests must be filed within 180 days of the effective date of the law, which will be 30 days after the bill is signed by the President. The Act further provides that refunds will be issued within 90 days of liquidation or re-liquidiation. Interest will not be included in the refunds.
If you have any questions or if you would like assistance in obtaining duty refunds, please contact Dmurphy@gdlsk.com