The GSP program offers duty-free treatment for about 4,800 products from 131 designated beneficiary developing countries and territories throughout the world. All imports of GSP-eligible articles from these countries are duty-free under the GSP program. It is very popular with certain industries such as transportation, electronics, chemicals, plastics, fuel, metal, jewelry and glassware. If you are exporting products to the US and pay duty, you should think about whether or not you qualify for the program.
Procedure for submitting petitions to the USTR
The U.S. Government, through the GSP Subcommittee, conducts an annual review of the list of articles eligible for duty-free treatment. Every year around May , the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative publishes a notice in the Federal Register regarding the initiations of the Annual GSP Product and Country Eligibility Practices Review and sets up the deadline for filing petitions. Petitions must conform to the applicable rules and regulations. Petitions accepted for review are subject to public hearings and a full review by the major Executive branch departments having a role in U.S. trade policy. Modifications made pursuant to the annual review are implemented by executive order, or presidential proclamation, and are published in the Federal Register. Modifications in the list normally take effect on July 1 of the following calendar year. Another reminder from Arent Fox will be sent once the Federal Register notice has been published in May announcing the deadline for submissions.
Factors taken into account in modifying the list
In modifying the GSP list of articles and countries, the following factors must be considered:
- the effect such action will have on furthering the economic expansion of the country’s exports;
- the extent to which other major developed countries are undertaking a comparable effort to assist a developing country by granting generalized preferences with respect to imports of products of the country;
- the anticipated impact of such action on the U.S. producers of like or directly competitive products; and
- the extent of the country’s competitiveness with respect to eligible products.
In addition, the Trade Act of 1974 (19 USC 2463 (b)) provides a list of articles that may not be designated eligible for GSP.