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Duty Exemptions

Duty exemptions are offered by the government through certain specialized programs (NAFTA, GSP, etc.) where specific criteria are met. Importers must be careful to use "reasonable care" in properly assessing eligibility for and in properly documenting a duty exemption. Where such "reasonable care" is not taken, Customs may find the importer liable for the full duties and may issue penalties or take further action against the importer.

Often the question of eligibility becomes quite complex. As the U.S. Customs Service has mandated that Customs attorney's are Customs experts for the purpose of establishing a basis of "reasonable care" for a company, we often are asked to provide clients with an analysis of a given product's eligibility for a program. Often the issues are clear enough that a careful legal analysis is deemed sufficient. Where more complex issues are present, we sometimes employ ruling requests as part of the importer's compliance strategy (example: a narrow issue of GSP double substantial transformation).

Once eligibility is established, we also assist importers and manufacturers in creating a proper document trail to establish the duty exemptions.

Additional information on duty exemptions can be found by clicking on any of the following topics:

International Agreements

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 as amended (19 U.S.C. 2461-2467) authorizes the President to establish a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to provide duty-free treatment for eligible articles imported directly from designated beneficiary developing countries. Beneficiary developing countries and articles eligible for duty-free treatment are designated by the President by Executive order in accordance with sections 502(a)(1) and 503(a) of the Trade Act of 1974 as amended (19 U.S.C. 2462(a)(1), 2463(a)).

  • 19 CFR § 10.171

  • 19 U.S.C. 2461
  • 19 U.S.C. 2462
  • 19 U.S.C. 2463
  • 19 U.S.C. 2464
  • 19 U.S.C. 2465
  • 19 U.S.C. 2466
  • 19 U.S.C. 2466a
  • 19 U.S.C. 2466b
  • 19 U.S.C. 2467

  • Caribbean Basin Initiative
    19 CFR . . .

    • 10.191 General.
    • 10.192 Claim for exemption from duty under the CBI.
    • 10.193 Imported directly.
    • 10.194 Evidence of direct shipment.
    • 10.195 Country of origin criteria.
    • 10.196 Cost or value of materials produced in a beneficiary country or countries.
    • 10.197 Direct costs of processing operations performed in a beneficiary country or countries.
    • 10.198 Evidence of country of origin.
    • 10.198a Duty reduction for certain leather-related articles.
    • 10.198b Products of Puerto Rico processed in a beneficiary country.
    • 10.199 Duty-free entry for certain beverages produced in Canada from Caribbean rum.


  • Andean Trade Preference
    • 10.201 Applicability.
    • 10.202 Definitions.
    • 10.203 Eligibility criteria in general.
    • 10.204 Imported directly.
    • 10.205 Country of origin criteria.
    • 10.206 Value content requirement.
    • 10.207 Procedures for filing duty-free treatment claim and submitting supporting documentation.
    • 10.208 Duty reductions for certain products.


  • Textile and Apparel Articles Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act
    • 10.211 Applicability.
    • 10.212 Definitions.
    • 10.213 Articles eligible for preferential treatment.
    • 10.214 Certificate of Origin.
    • 10.215 Filing of claim for preferential treatment.
    • 10.216 Maintenance of records and submission of Certificate by importer.
    • 10.217 Verification and justification of claim for preferential treatment.

  • Textile and Apparel Articles Under the United States-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act
    • 10.221 Applicability.
    • 10.222 Definitions.
    • 10.223 Articles eligible for preferential treatment.
    • 10.224 Certificate of Origin.
    • 10.225 Filing of claim for preferential treatment.
    • 10.226 Maintenance of records and submission of Certificate by importer.
    • 10.227 Verification and justification of claim for preferential treatment.

  • Non-Textile Articles Under the United States-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act
    • 10.231 Applicability.
    • 10.232 Definitions.
    • 10.233 Articles eligible for preferential tariff treatment.
    • 10.234 Certificate of Origin.
    • 10.235 Filing of claim for preferential tariff treatment.
    • 10.236 Maintenance of records and submission of Certificate by importer.
    • 10.237 Verification and justification of claim for preferential tariff treatment.

  • United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement
    • 10.301 Scope and applicability.
    • 10.302 Eligibility criteria in general.
    • 10.303 Originating goods.
    • 10.304 Exclusions.
    • 10.305 Value content requirement.
    • 10.306 Direct shipment to the United States.
    • 10.307 Documentation.
    • 10.308 Records retention.
    • 10.309 Verification of documentation.
    • 10.310 Election to average for motor vehicles.
    • 10.311 Documentation for election to average for motor vehicles.

Further Reading:

You Can Now Resubmit a Protest for Post-Importation Preference Claims Previously Rejected as Non-Protestable
June 8, 2016

CBP Posts Advice on New Document Requirements for Subheading 9801.00.10 - U.S. and Foreign Goods Returned Claims
February 1, 2017

CBP Issues New Value Limits for Section 321 Entries
August 31, 2016

Obtaining Refunds of Duty on Past GSP Eligible Entries
July 24, 2015

Can It Be True? "GSP" To Be Renewed!
April 27, 2015

 

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