Customs Posts Guidance on Post-Importation Claims for Preferential Tariff Treatment

         On August 11, 2014, Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) issued a memorandum regarding post-importation claims for preferential tariff treatment. Until this time, an importer could make claims using one of four different methods depending upon their particular agreements: through Post Entry Amendments (PEA), Post Summary Corrections (PSC), protests under 19 U.S.C. 1514, and through post-importation claims under 19 U.S.C. 1520(d). In the future, however, under this new policy, importers will not be able to claim duty preference using the protest mechanism under 19 U.S.C. 1514 for any of the FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) or preferential trade programs listed here:

  • US – Australia FTA                                
  • US – Bahrain FTA
  • US – Jordan FTA
  • US – Israel FTA
  • US – Singapore FTA
  • US – Morocco FTA
  • AGOA
  • Generalized System of Preferences
  • Civil Aircraft Agreement
  • Insular Possessions
  • Uruguay Round Concessions on Intermediate Dyes and Chemicals
  • Pharmaceutical Appendix

Those operating under the programs listed above will need to note this policy change and be sure to move quickly to act on the qualification and claim for duty preferences under any of the programs outlined above at the time of entry or upon liquidation.  To benefit from duty preference claims, it will be necessary to make claims either at the time of entry or by filing a PEA/PSC in advance of liquidation.

Further, CBP noted that “failure to claim preference does not give rise to a right of protest.” Initial claims for preference cannot be made under the protest mechanism under 19 U.S.C. 1514 and will be rejected by CBP. Customs goes further to state that amendments filed after liquidation are not treated as protests and are not regarded as evidence for reliquidation under 19 U.S.C. 1501. These revisions will be made to internal and external publications regarding preference programs by the Office of International Trade for CBP.

Programs that are listed below under 19 U.S.C. 1520(d) due to their post-importation provisions will continue to have claims handled by making post-entry duty preference claims within one year from time of entry.

19 U.S.C. 1520: 

  •  NAFTA
  •  US - Chile FTA,
  •  US - Oman FTA
  •  US - Colombia FTA
  •  US - Korea FTA
  •  US - Panama FTA
  •  US –Peru FTA

Akemi Malone, Intern, Global Trade Expertise