Dear Valued Customer:

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) Increase Effective January 1, 2018

The U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it is increasing the MPF effective January 1, 2018 pursuant to the CBP Final Rule (82 FRN 50523) and the General Notice (82 FRN 50659) published on November 1, 2017 in accordance with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985.

The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) ad valorem rate of 0.3464% will NOT change. The MPF minimum and maximum for formal entries (class code 499) will change. The minimum will change from $25 to $25.67 and the maximum will change from $485 to $497.99.

The Informal MPF (class code 311) will change to $2.05.

Possible Expiration of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

CBP has also announced that, barring congressional action, the GSP special program indicator (SPI) “A,” “A+” and “A*” will expire for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse after midnight, December 31, 2017, and have provided special procedures for GSP-eligible goods as follows:

Special Procedures for GSP-Eligible Goods
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. Importers may not file SPI “A” without duties.

Programming
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.

Post-Importation GSP Claims Made via PSC and Protest
CBP will continue to allow post-importation GSP claims made via post summary correction (PSC) and protest (19 USC 1514, 19 CFR 174) subsequent to the expiration of GSP, for importations arriving prior to December 31, 2017 while GSP was still in effect. CBP will not allow post-importation GSP claims made via PSC or protest subsequent to the expiration of GSP for importations arriving after December 31, 2017.

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
The pending expiration of GSP has no effect on goods entered with AGOA preference. Effective January 1, 2017, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) was modified so that all non-textile, AGOA-eligible tariff items indicate SPI “D” in the “Special” column. As such, since January 1, 2017, all non-textile AGOA claims have been made using the SPI “D”. AGOA preference remains in effect through September 30, 2025, irrespective of any lapse in GSP.

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)
Since the GSP does not provide an MPF exemption, its expiration has no impact on the collection of the MPF. Goods of least-developed beneficiary developing countries (LDBDCs) listed in HTSUS General Note 4(b)(i) maintain their MPF exemption per 19 CFR 24.23(c)(1)(iv).

Time of Entry
Per 19 CFR 141.68(a)(2) & (3), time of entry can be as early as the time that the entry documents are filed, provided that the merchandise is within the port limits and such has been requested. For additional information on the significance of the time of entry and how to calculate it, please see page 11 of the Informed Compliance Publication “What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Entry”

Extension of Liquidation
Requests for the suspension of liquidation under 19 CFR 159.12 pending the reinstatement of GSP will be denied.

James J. Boyle & Co. will continue to flag all GSP-eligible entries in accordance with your written instructions on file.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact your nearest JJB representative.

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