Newsflash ~ June 2015

GSP Renewed Retroactively, Refund Claims Authorized

On Thursday June 25th, Congress passed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 which not only extends AGOA and trade preferences for Haiti but also reauthorizes the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program through December 31, 2017 and retroactively to July 31, 2013. The TPA Extension Act of 2015 is now on its way to the President for his signature.

Following is an overview of the high points regarding GSP:
  • Thirty days after the President signs the Act into law, GSP will be in effect again for articles entered or withdrawn for consumption. The President's signature is expected shortly.
  • Once in effect, the Act also allows the President to designate duty-free preferences under GSP to certain travel goods (luggage, purses, backpacks, laptop bags, wallets).
  • Retroactively renewed, the Act specifically allows claims for GSP treatment to be made for entries otherwise eligible for GSP that were entered into the US on or after August 1, 2013 to the effective date of the Act.
  • CBP plans to begin processing refunds immediately for entries that were entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption between August 1, 2013 and the effective date of the Act if the entry was filed with the Special Program Indicator (SPI) "A," and the duties were paid.

Attention J.W. Allen Import Clients:

All J.W. Allen & Company handled entries for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption between August 1, 2013 and the effective date of the Act to which GSP eligibility applies, were entered utilizing the Special Program Indicator (SPI) "A" to facilitate the immediate processing of duty refunds.

Please contact our office immediately if you feel you may have imported merchandise during the period of lapse in the GSP program not utilizing the SPI "A" which may have been be eligible for GSP treatment. In such cases, importers must file a claim for retroactive GSP treatment for the subject entries with CBP "not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act..." CBP will refund duties (without interest) for accepted claims within 90 days of the liquidation or re-liquidation date of the entry.

New Guatemalan Customs Requirement Effective July 14, 2015

The Superintendencia de Administracion Tributaria (SAT – Guatemalan Tax Administration) has notified the trade community of changes for cargo imports into Guatemala.

The electronic registration of the cargo manifest for imports into Guatemala must now include the following information:
  • The tax identification number (NIT) of the Consignee
  • The vessel details of the agreed freight accepted for transport

Special Note: The Bill of Lading must now include the full name, physical address, and tax identification number (NIT) of the consignee as it is recorded into the Registro Tributario Unico (RTU – Unique Tax Registry).

These requirements will take effect on July 14th, 2015. Fines and/or delays at destination may result for non compliant documents.

Holiday Office Closure

Our office will be closed on Friday July 3rd in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Our office will reopen on Monday morning July 6th at 8:30 a.m. If you need assistance in our absence, please visit our website for emergency contact information.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
~Thomas Paine

Happy Independence Day!
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