(STR Trade Advisory)
A recent change in practice by U.S. Customs and Border Protection is limiting the right of importers to claim preferential treatment under certain free trade agreements and the Generalized System of Preferences. A CBP public guidance document on this issue is expected in the near future, but in the meantime the change could result in unexpected costs for importers.
Until the recent change, importers could obtain a refund of duties paid for approximately one year and four months 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. Read more here.