Further to the below, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published its guidance on the refund issue earlier today (see here). In short:
For entries filed through the Automated Broker Interface (ABI):
* If the importer deposited duties, but used the GSP Special Program Indicator (A, A+ or A*) upon entry, then the refund will be processed automatically.
* If the importer deposited duties, but did not use the GSP Special Program Indicator upon entry, then a separate refund request must be made in writing.
For entries not filed through ABI:
* A separate refund request must be made in writing.
All refund requests must be addressed to the Port Director and be received by CBP by December 28, 2015. Additional information on what should be included in such requests is included in the notice.
Given the potential for refunds regardless of whether a claim was made at the time of importation, all companies should evaluate this opportunity. If you imported dutiable merchandise from GSP-eligible countries during the period July 31, 2013-July 29, 2015, you should consider whether it would be worth pursuing eligibility (and ultimately refund claims) for some/all of that merchandise.
If you have any questions about this notice, or if you would like any assistance identifying amounts possibly eligible to be refunded, just let us know.