GSP 2014: Will YOU Get Your Money Back? (Part Two)
In Part One of this consideration of the Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP”), we spoke about the effect of the choice of words in the 1998 legislation that was intended to retroactively reinstate GSP benefits after the program lapsed. In 1998, the statute created a “notch” for some goods that were not given retroactive GSP, even though after the reinstatement subsequent imports of those goods were given duty-free treatment.
So what do we do NOW to protect the CHANCE of getting refunds if and when GSP is reinstated?
Here are some suggestions —
1) You might want to contact your members of Congress to voice your concern over the ongoing lapse of the program, and your hope that it will be reinstated retroactively back to the July 31, 2013 expiration, with refunds PLUS interest being issued.
2) You will want to be sure that the CBP form 7501 for entries made since July 31, 2013 bear the Special Program indicators for the particular type of GSP for which the goods qualify.
3) If the GSP designation has not been shown, be sure to have corrected entries filed.
4) If any of what would have been GSP entries have liquidated without the GSP designation having been shown, you can protest the liquidation and/or otherwise bring the fact that particular goods on those entries should have been designated for GSP either by filing corrected entries or possibly even filing a prior disclosure to inform Customs of this material fact.
5) Be sure that the claim for GSP can be supported—the requirements are strict —and GSP claims should NOT be made unless they can be supported:
– Direct shipment from the beneficiary developing country
– Local inputs of at least 35%
– Raw materials from outside the GSP country substantially transformed in the GSP country
– Double substantial transformation for certain goods, e.g. gold jewelry
6) Document the manufacturing process in the GSP country with video, purchase orders, inventory records, production records, shipping records.
When all else fails, you may be able to protest the liquidation for duty of entries that should have gotten GSP duty-free treatment, either within the 180 day post-liquidation window under the law as it stands, or if the reinstatement legislation allows for protests on a different time schedule.
BUT be prepared to submit proof in line with paragraph nos. 5 and 6, above, because it is unlikely that there will be any “automatic approvals” if you have to protest.