GSP Program to Expire July 31 – Higher Duty Rates on Imports from 127 Countries

Companies importing from the 127 GSP eligible countries will face higher duty rates when the GSP program expires on July 31st, unless it is renewed by Congress. The Generalized System of Preferences program helps to promote economic growth in developing countries by attracting U.S. importers with duty-free trade agreements for several thousand products. The program is regularly reviewed to ensure the beneficiary countries are still considered to be ‘developing’.

If Congress does not renew the program, U.S. importers will minimally face six weeks of higher duty rates, as Congress is set to begin summer recess. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is encouraging importers to continue to file imports electronically using the appropriate SPI as a prefix to the good’s harmonized tariff schedule number. If the GSP program is to be renewed with a retroactive clause, CBP will automatically refund duty for eligible countries and goods.

GSP eligible goods include consumer goods, auto parts and engines, food, beverages, industrial supplies, and raw materials. Many small businesses in the U.S. take advantage of the GSP program and import goods to be used during their manufacturing process.

According to the Generalized System of Preferences Guidebook, imported goods that qualify for duty-free treatment under the GSP program must meet the following requirements:
1. Included in the list of GSP eligible articles
2. Imported directly from the beneficiary developing country
3. The beneficiary developing country must be eligible for GSP treatment for that article.
4. Article must meet the growth, product, or manufacture of a beneficiary developing country and must meet the value-added requirements
5. The exporter/importer must request duty-free treatment under GSP by placing appropriate GSP Special Program Indicator (SPI) before the HTSUS number that identifies the importer article on the appropriate shipping documents

RS Express is committed to helping our customers engineer costs out of their supply chain. If the non-renewal of the GSP program affects your company, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

See the Generalized System of Preferences Guidebook for a full explanation of the program, its beneficiaries, and qualified articles: