On August 26, 2010, Selkirk Cogen Partners LP (Selkirk), a Canadian importer of natural gas, filed a complaint with the US Court of International Trade (CIT) seeking a refund with interest of Merchandise Processing Fees (MPFs) it paid on natural gas imported into the United States from January 2004 to February 2008. Selkirk filed its complaint with the CIT after US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assessed MFPs on Selkirik’s monthly consolidated entries and then denied Selkirk’s protest against the MFP assessments.
The MPF has not applied to North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-originating Canadian goods since NAFTA went into effect in 1994. In its complaint, Selkirk argues that its natural gas is not subject to the MPF because it is a NAFTA-originating good. Selkirk further argues that, even though it did not claim NAFTA preference with respect to the subject entries until more than a year after importation, the statutory provision that imposes a one-year limit on requests to CBP for the reliquidation of entries to refund excess duties, including MPFs, is not applicable because Selkirk did not pay MPFs at the time of importation.