U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a guidance letter to the ports Aug. 11 2014 that it will no longer accept post-liquidation claims for certain free trade agreements (FTA) and preference programs. Before the change, importers could obtain a refund of duties paid for within one year after importation by raising a new claim for preferential treatment. Importers would file a post-entry amendment before liquidation or submit an administrative protest after liquidation. This is consistent with 19 USC 1514, which gives importers the legal right to make post-importation changes to their entries. Now, however, such claims made pursuant to GSP, AGOA and certain FTAs not subject to the special rules in 19 USC 1520(d)may be made prior to liquidation but not via a post-liquidation protest.
Preference Programs Included in 19 USC 1520(d)
Post-importation claims may be made under any of the following programs/agreements within one year of the date of importation:
The following programs are not included in 19 USC 1520(d), and therefore require importers to use a post-entry amendment or post summary correction to claim duty preferences after importation. Such claims must be submitted 30 days prior to entry liquidation, which varies depending on the type of entry:
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA)
Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA)
Civil Aircraft Agreement Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
Pharmaceutical Products Agreement
Uruguay Round Concession on Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes
CBP’s announcement represents a dynamic shift from long-standing practice; and as such, it is important for importers to review their trade compliance policies and procedures to ensure these entries receive priority treatment for meeting filing deadlines.
See the CBP guidance message at http://apps.cbp.gov/csms/docs/20244_674951276/Post_entry_preference_claims(b).txt