As most of you know, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program expired July 31, 2013. The average liquidation cycle is about 10 months, so entries made in August 2013 will be liquidating shortly. The question has come up if importers should start filing protests or requesting suspension of liquidation in order to preserve their rights to a refund in the event GSP is renewed retroactively. Customs has alerted the trade community via CSMS message 14-000286 that neither of these measures should be taken. Entries will be liquidated as scheduled, assuming the goods were properly classified and appraised. Customs does not have the legal authority to further extend liquidation pending possible GSP renewal.

The CSMS message goes on to state, “If GSP were to be renewed, the legislation would specify an effective date for the date of renewal. The renewal date, if GSP is reauthorized, might or might not allow for retroactive claims. On previous occasions when GSP was renewed retroactively, the legislation authorized CBP to disregard liquidation status in determining GSP eligibility and consequent refunds.”

So at this time, there is no action for importers to take except to wait for Congress to get some GSP legislation going. We will continue to keep you updated.