Barring Congressional action, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), special program indicator (SPI) “A,” “A+” and “A*” will expire for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse after midnight, December 31, 2017. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries. The program was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in the developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976.
The GSP periodically expires and must be renewed by Congress to remain in effect. As announced by Customs and Border Protection, the 2015 GSP reauthorization (H.R. 1295) will expire on December 31, 2017. All previous GSP renewals that have taken effect after a lapse have included a retroactive clause providing refunds to importers of eligible goods imported during the lapse period.
In the event of a lapse and until further notice, importers are strongly encouraged to continue to flag GSP-eligible importations with the SPI “A,” even as they pay normal trade relations (column 1) duty rates on otherwise GSP-eligible importations. Please note that Importers may not file SPI "A" without duties. V. Alexander & Co., Inc. will continue to flag GSP eligible entries with the SPI indicator.
CBP is working to have programming in place that, in the event that GSP is renewed with a retroactive refund clause, will allow CBP to automate the duty refund process. The full GSP message from CBP can be viewed here.
If you have any questions, please contact your account team for guidance.