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FAQ - GSP Reauthorization

Have trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) been renewed?
Yes. Congress passed and the President signed H.R. 1295 reauthorizing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through December 31, 2017. Title II of the Trade Preferences Extension Act 2015, makes GSP benefits retroactive from July 31, 2013 and permits U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to refund duties paid (not including interest) on importations of GSP-eligible goods imported or withdrawn from warehouse during the GSP lapse.

Now that GSP has been reauthorized, when will duty free treatment under GSP resume?
The President signed the bill into law on June 29, 2015. Pursuant to Title II of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, duty-free treatment of GSP-eligible imports (for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse) will resume effective 30 days after enactment, on July 29, 2015.

Does the renewal extend benefits retroactively?
Yes. The GSP reauthorization provides retroactive duty to be applied to eligible goods entered after July 31, 2013 through July 28, 2015. Note that the GSP reauthorization provides for retroactive benefits to goods imported from a country that is a beneficiary of the GSP program as of July 29, 2015. As such, retroactive benefits exclude countries such as Bangladesh and Russia that lost eligibility during the GSP lapse.

How should importers submit claims on goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse before July 29, 2015?
Importers should continue to flag the GSP-eligible importation with the applicable special program indicator for GSP (SPI "A", "A+," or "A*") but continue to pay the relevant normal trade relations (column 1) duty rate until the effective date of the renewal, which is July 29, 2015.

Now that GSP has been reauthorized retroactively, how will duty refunds be processed?
CBP plans to automatically refund duties paid for GSP eligible goods that were submitted via ABI (i.e., ACE, ACS) with the appropriate SPI (entries with the SPI "A", "A+," or "A*" as a prefix to the tariff number) during the lapse period of August 1, 2013 through July 28, 2015. Therefore, a request for refund should not be made at the port of entry for any entries previously submitted with the GSP indicator.

Any amounts owed by the United States pursuant to Public Law 114-27 to the liquidation or re-liquidation of any entry of an article will be paid, without interest.

Please see below for information on refunds where no GSP preference was claimed during the lapse.

Will importers who claimed GSP preference but paid duties during the GSP lapse have to resubmit a claim to CBP?
The answer depends on the method of entry summary filing.

Filers who have used ABI to file entry summaries and indicated SPI "A," "A+," and "A*" as a prefix to the tariff number during the GSP lapse, will not have to resubmit such claims to CBP. CBP plans to automatically refund GSP duties paid for these entries.

Filers who have not used ABI to file entry summaries during the GSP lapse period will need to re-submit their claims for GSP preferences in order to obtain a refund.

For more information on GSP retroactive duty refund see the GSP refund process page.

How do I request a GSP refund if I did not claim GSP preference during the GSP lapse period – from August 1, 2013 through July 28, 2015?

The GSP renewal legislation provides for a 180-days period after the enactment of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 for importers to request a GSP duty refund - that is, until December 28, 2015.

Unliquidated Entries
ACE filers that did not include SPI Code "A," "A+," or "A*" on their entry summary must timely submit a duty refund request to CBP via PSC.  Requests made outside this 270 day PSC time limit must be in writing that provides sufficient information (i.e., the entry number, line number, and requested refund) to enable CBP to locate the entry.

All other filers (including ACS) that did not include SPI Code "A," "A+," or "A*" on their entry must timely submit a duty refund request to CBP in writing that provides sufficient information to enable CBP to locate the entry. CBP recommends submitting such filing by PEA.

For unliquidated entries, refund requests must be received by CBP the earlier of the entry's filing time limit or December 28, 2015.

Liquidated entries
ABI and non-ABI filers that did not include SPI Code "A," "A+," or "A*" on their entry must timely submit a request to CBP in writing. The request must contain sufficient information to enable CBP to locate the entry or to reconstruct the entry if it cannot be located.

For liquidated entries, refund requests must be received by CBP by December 28, 2015.

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.

Any amounts owed by the United States pursuant to Public Law 114-27 to the liquidation or re-liquidation of any entry of an article will be paid, without interest.

Where can I find detailed information about GSP renewal and duty refund procedures?
Information about the GSP renewal and instructions concerning GSP duty refund is available via the GSP page.

Are other Trade Preference programs impacted by this bill?
Yes. Title I of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 extends benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act through September 30, 2025. Title III – Extension of Preferential Duty Treatment Program for Haiti extends benefits for goods under the Haiti Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and the Haitian Economic Lift (HELP) programs.

Now that GSP has been reauthorized, when will reviews of GSP country and product petitions resume?
On July 6, 2015, the USTR published a notice in the Federal Register (at 80 Fed Reg 38501) launching a limited GSP product review of goods that, based on the full-year 2014 import data, are subject to competitive need limitations (CNL)-related actions. In August 2015, USTR will announce in the Federal Register the 2015 GSP Annual Review in which interested parties can submit petitions to add or remove products from the list of those eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP. With the reauthorization of the GSP program, the USTR-led GSP Subcommittee will also resume reviews of outstanding GSP country practices cases.

Last modified: 
May 31, 2017