Welcome to 2012! Now that we are getting back in to the swing of things, Import Trade Law wanted to be sure to remind everyone about an important date: April 18, 2012. Mark your calendars! The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has set this date as the deadline for obtaining retroactive benefits under the renewed Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program.
As discussed in our September 22, 2011 post, the GSP Program was retroactively renewed on October 21, 2011, when President Obama signed H.R. 2832. This was great news for importers because it now allowed importers to obtain refunds on duties paid for the period during which GSP had expired (January 1 – November 4, 2011). CBP issued a memo last year on the process for obtaining refunds, which is outlined below:
For those entries filed via the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and designated with the Special Program Indicator (SPI) “A,” CBP has already started and will continue to automatically issue a refund for duties paid on GSP-eligible goods. If importers have any questions related to the status of their refunds, it is advised to contact the port of entry to obtain information. In these cases though, importers need only await their refunds.
For those entries that were not filed via ABI or were not designated with SPI “A,” you have until April 18, 2012, to file your claims All claims must be in writing and contain enough information concerning the entry so that CBP can locate it. In order to expedite the refund process, CBP suggests that claimants include the entry number, line number, and requested refund amount in their claim.
The timing of the claim will dictate how the importer must file his/her refund request. For example, if it has been less than 270 days since CBP accepted the entry, then the importer can make a “Post Summary Correction” (PSC) filing. Otherwise, the importer will likely need to file a “Post Entry Amendment” (PEA). However, if the entry has liquidated, the importer will need to file a protest. Any amounts owed by the government will be refunded without interest within 90 days of liquidation or re-liquidation.
Importers, make sure you are aware how the entries were made and don’t forget to file your GSP refund claim, if necessary! If you have any questions or concerns with filing for your GSP refund claim, don’t hesitate to give us a ring. Remember April 18, 2012!