Trade laws

Generalized System of Preferences [USA]

On January 1, 1976, under the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in the developing countries a mechanism was created to provide duty-free goods to flow in the USA  market from the designated beneficiary countries.  under it the President is authorized to designate countries as beneficiary developing countries for purposes of this subchapter. at the same time, the President may withdraw, suspend, or limit the application of the duty-free treatment accorded under this subchapter with respect to any country. In taking any action under this subsection, the President shall consider the factors set forth in section 2461 of this title and subsection (c) of this section.

The following countries may not be designated as beneficiary developing countries for
purposes of this subchapter:
(A) Australia.
(B) Canada.
(C) European Union member states.
(D) Iceland.
(E) Japan.
(F) Monaco.
(G) New Zealand.
(H) Norway.
(I) Switzerland


The Regulation

10.171   General.

(a) Statutory authority. 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)).

(b) Country defined. For purposes of §§10.171 through 10.178, except as otherwise provided in §10.176(a), the term “country” means any foreign country, any overseas dependent territory or possession of a foreign country, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. In the case of an association of countries which is a free trade area or customs union or which is contributing to comprehensive regional economic integration among its members through appropriate means, including but not limited to, the reduction of duties, the President may by Executive order provide that all members of such association other than members which are barred from designation under section 502(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2462(b)) shall be treated as one country for purposes of §§10.171 through 10.178.

[T.D. 76-2, 40 FR 60047, Dec. 31, 1975, as amended by T.D. 80-271, 45 FR 75641, Nov. 17, 1980; T.D. 00-67, 65 FR 59675, Oct. 5, 2000]

§10.172   Claim for exemption from duty under the Generalized System of Preferences.

A claim for an exemption from duty on the ground that the Generalized System of Preferences applies shall be allowed by the Center director only if he is satisfied that the requirements set forth in this section and §§10.173 through 10.178 have been met. If duty-free treatment is claimed at the time of entry, a written claim shall be filed on the entry document by placing the symbol “A” as a prefix to the subheading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for each article for which such treatment is claimed.

[T.D. 76-2, 40 FR 60048, Dec. 31, 1975, as amended by T.D. 77-36, 42 FR 5041, Jan. 27, 1977; T.D. 89-1, 53 FR 51252, Dec. 21, 1988; T.D. 94-47, 59 FR 25569, May 17, 1994; T.D. 99-27, 64 FR 13675, Mar. 22, 1999]

10.173   Evidence of country of origin.

(a) Shipments covered by a formal entry—(1) Merchandise not wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of a beneficiary developing country—(i) Declaration. In a case involving merchandise covered by a formal entry which is not wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of a single beneficiary developing country, the exporter of the merchandise or other appropriate party having knowledge of the relevant facts shall be prepared to submit directly to the Center director, upon request, a declaration setting forth all pertinent detailed information concerning the production or manufacture of the merchandise. When requested by the Center director, the declaration shall be prepared in substantially the following form:

GSP DECLARATION

   I,

(name), hereby declare that the articles described below were produced or manufactured in ________ (country) by means of processing operations performed in that country as set forth below and were also subjected to processing operations in the other country or countries which are members of the same association of countries as set forth below and incorporate materials produced in the country named above or in any other country or countries which are members of the same association of countries as set forth below:

Number and date of invoices Description of articles and quantity Processing operations performed on articles Materials produced in a beneficiary developing country or members of the same association
Description of processing operations and country of processing Direct costs of processing operations Description of material, production process, and country of production Cost or value of material
Date
Address
Signature
Title

(ii) Retention of records and submission of declaration. The information necessary for preparation of the declaration shall be retained in the files of the party responsible for its preparation and submission for a period of 5 years. In the event that the Center director requests submission of the declaration during the 5-year period, it shall be submitted by the appropriate party directly to the Center director within 60 days of the date of the request or such additional period as the Center director may allow for good cause shown. Failure to submit the declaration in a timely fashion will result in a denial of duty-free treatment.

(2) Merchandise wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of a beneficiary developing country. In a case involving merchandise covered by a formal entry which is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of a single beneficiary developing country, a statement to that effect shall be included on the commercial invoice provided to Customs.

(b) Shipments covered by an informal entry. Although the filing of the declaration provided for in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section will not be required for a shipment covered by an informal entry, the Center director may require such other evidence of country of origin as deemed necessary.

(c) Verification of documentation. Any evidence of country of origin submitted under this section shall be subject to such verification as the Center director deems necessary. In the event that the Center director is prevented from obtaining the necessary verification, the Center director may treat the entry as dutiable.

[T.D. 94-47, 59 FR 25569, May 17, 1994]

10.174   Evidence of direct shipment.

(a) Documents constituting evidence of direct shipment. The Center director may require that appropriate shipping papers, invoices, or other documents be submitted within 60 days of the date of entry as evidence that the articles were “imported directly”, as that term is defined in §10.175. Any evidence of direct shipment required by the Center director shall be subject to such verification as he deems necessary.

(b) Waiver of evidence of direct shipment. The Center director may waive the submission of evidence of direct shipment when he is otherwise satisfied, taking into consideration the kind and value of the merchandise, that the merchandise clearly qualifies for treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences.

[T.D. 76-2, 40 FR 60048, Dec. 31, 1975, as amended by T.D. 77-27, 42 FR 3162, Jan. 17, 1977]

10.175   Imported directly defined.

Eligible articles shall be imported directly from a beneficiary developing country to qualify for treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences. For purposes of §§10.171 through 10.178 the words “imported directly” mean:

(a) Direct shipment from the beneficiary country to the United States without passing through the territory of any other country; or

(b) If the shipment is from a beneficiary developing country to the U.S. through the territory of any other country, the merchandise in the shipment does not enter into the commerce of any other country while en route to the U.S., and the invoice, bills of lading, and other shipping documents show the U.S. as the final destination; or

(c) If shipped from the beneficiary developing country to the United States through a free trade zone in a beneficiary developing country, the merchandise shall not enter into the commerce of the country maintaining the free trade zone, and

(1) The eligible articles must not undergo any operation other than:

(i) Sorting, grading, or testing,

(ii) Packing, unpacking, changes of packing, decanting or repacking into other containers,

(iii) Affixing marks, labels, or other like distinguishing signs on articles or their packing, if incidental to operations allowed under this section, or

(iv) Operations necessary to ensure the preservation of merchandise in its condition as introduced into the free trade zone.

(2) Merchandise may be purchased and resold, other than at retail, for export within the free trade zone.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a free trade zone is a predetermined area or region declared and secured by or under governmental authority, where certain operations may be performed with respect to articles, without such articles having entered into the commerce of the country maintaining the free trade zone; or

(d) If the shipment is from any beneficiary developing country to the U.S through the territory of any other country and the invoices and other documents do not show the U.S as the final destination, the articles in the shipment upon arrival in the U.S. are imported directly only if they:

(1) Remained under the control of the customs authority of the intermediate country;

(2) Did not enter into the commerce of the intermediate country except for the purpose of sale other than at retail, and the Center director is satisfied that the importation results from the original commercial transaction between the importer and the producer or the latter’s sales agent; and

(3) Were not subjected to operations other than loading and unloading, and other activities necessary to preserve the articles in good condition; or

(e)(1) Shipment to the U.S. from a beneficiary developing country which is a member of an association of countries treated as one country under section 507(2), Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2467(2)), through the territory of a former beneficiary developing country whose designation as a member of the same association for GSP purposes was terminated by the President pursuant to section 502(d), Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)), provided the articles in the shipment did not enter into the commerce of the former beneficiary developing country except for purposes of performing one or more of the operations specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section and except for purposes of purchase or resale, other than at retail, for export.

(2) The designation of the following countries as members of an association of countries for GSP purposes has been terminated by the President pursuant to section 502(d) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2462(d)):

The Bahamas

Brunei Darussalam

Malaysia

Singapore

[T.D. 76-2, 40 FR 60048, Dec. 31, 1975, as amended by T.D. 83-144, 48 FR 29684, June 28, 1983; T.D. 84-237, 49 FR 47992, Dec. 7, 1984; T.D. 86-107, 51 FR 20816, June 9, 1986; T.D. 92-6, 57 FR 2018, Jan. 17, 1992; T.D. 94-47, 59 FR 25569, May 17, 1994; T.D. 95-30, 60 FR 18543, Apr. 12, 1995; T.D. 00-67, 65 FR 59675, Oct. 5, 2000]

10.176   Country of origin criteria.

(a) Merchandise produced in a beneficiary developing country or any two or more countries which are members of the same association of countries—(1) General. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any article which either is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of, or is a new or different article of commerce that has been grown, produced, or manufactured in, a beneficiary developing country may qualify for duty-free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). No article will be considered to have been grown, produced, or manufactured in a beneficiary developing country by virtue of having merely undergone simple (as opposed to complex or meaningful) combining or packaging operations or mere dilution with water or mere dilution with another substance that does not materially alter the characteristics of the article. Duty-free entry under the GSP may be accorded to an article only if the sum of the cost or value of the materials produced in the beneficiary developing country or any two or more countries that are members of the same association of countries and are treated as one country under section 507(2) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2467(2)), plus the direct costs of processing operations performed in the beneficiary developing country or member countries, is not less than 35 percent of the appraised value of the article at the time it is entered.

(2) Combining, packaging, and diluting operations. No article which has undergone only a simple combining or packaging operation or a mere dilution in a beneficiary developing country within the meaning of paragraph (a)(1) of this section will be entitled to duty-free treatment even though the processing operation causes the article to meet the value requirement set forth in that paragraph. For purposes of this section:

(i) Simple combining or packaging operations and mere dilution include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) The addition of batteries to devices;

(B) Fitting together a small number of components by bolting, glueing, soldering, etc.;

(C) Blending foreign and beneficiary developing country tobacco;

(D) The addition of substances such as anticaking agents, preservatives, wetting agents, etc.;

(E) Repacking or packaging components together;

(F) Reconstituting orange juice by adding water to orange juice concentrate; and

(G) Diluting chemicals with inert ingredients to bring them to standard degrees of strength;

(ii) Simple combining or packaging operations and mere dilution will not be taken to include processes such as the following:

(A) The assembly of a large number of discrete components onto a printed circuit board;

(B) The mixing together of two bulk medicinal substances followed by the packaging of the mixed product into individual doses for retail sale;

(C) The addition of water or another substance to a chemical compound under pressure which results in a reaction creating a new chemical compound; and

(D) A simple combining or packaging operation or mere dilution coupled with any other type of processing such as testing or fabrication (for example, a simple assembly of a small number of components, one of which was fabricated in the beneficiary developing country where the assembly took place); and

(iii) The fact that an article has undergone more than a simple combining or packaging operation or mere dilution is not necessarily dispositive of the question of whether that processing constitutes a substantial transformation for purposes of determining the country of origin of the article.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) Merchandise grown, produced, or manufactured in a beneficiary developing country. Merchandise which is wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of a beneficiary developing country, or an association of countries treated as one country under section 507(2) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2467(2)) and §10.171(b), and manufactured products consisting of materials produced only in such country or countries, shall normally be presumed to meet the requirements set forth in this section.

[T.D. 76-2, 40 FR 60048, Dec. 31, 1975, as amended by T.D. 80-271, 45 FR 75641, Nov. 17, 1980; T.D. 00-67, 65 FR 59675, Oct. 5, 2000]

10.177   Cost or value of materials produced in the beneficiary developing country.

(a) “Produced in the beneficiary developing country” defined. For purposes of §§10.171 through 10.178, the words “produced in the beneficiary developing country” refer to the constituent materials of which the eligible article is composed which are either:

(1) Wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of the beneficiary developing country; or

(2) Substantially transformed in the beneficiary developing country into a new and different article of commerce.

(b) Questionable origin. When the origin of an article either is not ascertainable or not satisfactorily demonstrated to the Center director, the article shall not be considered to have been produced in the beneficiary developing country.

(c) Determination of cost or value of materials produced in the beneficiary developing country. (1) The cost or value of materials produced in the beneficiary developing country includes:

(i) The manufacturer’s actual cost for the materials;

(ii) When not included in the manufacturer’s actual cost for the materials, the freight, insurance, packing, and all other costs incurred in transporting the materials to the manufacturer’s plant;

(iii) The actual cost of waste or spoilage (material list), less the value of recoverable scrap; and

(iv) Taxes and/or duties imposed on the materials by the beneficiary developing country, or an association of countries treated as one country, provided they are not remitted upon exportation.

(2) Where the material is provided to the manufacturer without charge, or at less than fair market value, its cost or value shall be determined by computing the sum of:

(i) All expenses incurred in the growth, production, manufacture or assembly of the material, including general expenses;

(ii) An amount for profit; and

(iii) Freight, insurance, packing, and all other costs incurred in transporting the materials to the manufacturer’s plant.

If the pertinent information needed to compute the cost or value of the materials is not available, the appraising officer may ascertain or estimate the value thereof using all reasonable ways and means at his disposal.

[T.D. 76-2, 40 FR 60049, Dec. 31, 1975, as amended by T.D. 86-118, 51 FR 22515, June 20, 1986]

10.178   Direct costs of processing operations performed in the beneficiary developing country.

(a) Items included in the direct costs of processing operations. As used in §10.176, the words “direct costs of processing operations” means those costs either directly incurred in, or which can be reasonably allocated to, the growth, production, manufacture, or assembly of the specific merchandise under consideration. Such costs include, but are not limited to:

(1) All actual labor costs involved in the growth, production, manufacture, or assembly of the specific merchandise, including fringe benefits, on-the-job training, and the cost of engineering, supervisory, quality control, and similar personnel;

(2) Dies, molds, tooling, and depreciation on machinery and equipment which are allocable to the specific merchandise;

(3) Research, development, design, engineering, and blueprint costs insofar as they are allocable to the specific merchandise; and

(4) Costs of inspecting and testing the specific merchandise.

(b) Items not included in the direct costs of processing operations. Those items which are not included within the meaning of the words “direct costs of processing operations” are those which are not directly attributable to the merchandise under consideration or are not “costs” of manufacturing the product. These include, but are not limited to:

(1) Profit; and

(2) General expenses of doing business which are either not allocable to the specific merchandise or are not related to the growth, production, manufacture, or assembly of the merchandise, such as administrative salaries, casualty and liability insurance, advertising, and salesmen’s salaries, commissions, or expenses.

[T.D. 76-2, 40 FR 60049, Dec. 31, 1975]

10.178a   Special duty-free treatment for sub-Saharan African countries.

(a) General. Section 506A of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2466a) authorizes the President to provide duty-free treatment for certain articles otherwise excluded from duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) pursuant to section 503(b)(1)(B) through (G) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2463(b)(1)(B) through (G)) and authorizes the President to designate a country listed in section 107 of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (19 U.S.C. 3706) as an eligible beneficiary sub-Saharan African country for purposes of that duty-free treatment.

(b) Eligible articles. The duty-free treatment referred to in paragraph (a) of this section will apply to any article within any of the following classes of articles, provided that the article in question has been designated by the President for that purpose and is the growth, product, or manufacture of an eligible beneficiary sub-Saharan African country and meets the requirements specified or referred to in paragraph (d) of this section:

(1) Watches, except those watches entered after June 30, 1989, that the President specifically determines, after public notice and comment, will not cause material injury to watch or watch band, strap, or bracelet manufacturing and assembly operations in the United States or the United States insular possessions;

(2) Certain electronic articles;

(3) Certain steel articles;

(4) Footwear, handbags, luggage, flat goods, work gloves, and leather wearing apparel which were not eligible articles for purposes of the GSP on January 1, 1995, as the GSP was in effect on that date;

(5) Certain semi-manufactured and manufactured glass products; and

(6) Any other articles which the President determines to be import-sensitive in the context of the GSP.

(c) Claim for duty-free treatment. A claim for the duty-free treatment referred to in paragraph (a) of this section must be made by placing on the entry document the symbol “D” as a prefix to the subheading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for each article for which duty-free treatment is claimed;

(d) Origin and related rules. The provisions of §§10.171, 10.173, and 10.175 through 10.178 will apply for purposes of duty-free treatment under this section. However, application of those provisions in the context of this section will be subject to the following rules:

(1) The term “beneficiary developing country,” wherever it appears, means “beneficiary sub-Saharan African country;’

(2) In the GSP declaration set forth in §10.173(a)(1)(i), the column heading “Materials produced in a beneficiary developing country or members of the same association” should read “Material produced in a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, a former beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, or the U.S.;”

(3) The provisions of §10.175(c) will not apply; and

(4) For purposes of determining compliance with the 35 percent value content requirement set forth in §10.176(a):

(i) An amount not to exceed 15 percent of the appraised value of the article at the time it is entered may be attributed to the cost or value of materials produced in the customs territory of the United States, and the provisions of §10.177 will apply for purposes of identifying materials produced in the customs territory of the United States and the cost or value of those materials; and

(ii) The cost or value of materials included in the article that are produced in more than one beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African country may be applied without regard to whether those countries are members of the same association of countries.

(5) As used in this paragraph, the term “former beneficiary sub-Saharan African country” means a country that, after being designated by the President as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under section 506A of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2466a), ceased to be designated as such a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country by reason of its entering into a free trade agreement with the United States.

(e) Importer requirements. In order to make a claim for duty-free treatment under this section, the importer:

(1) Must have records that explain how the importer came to the conclusion that the article qualifies for duty-free treatment;

(2) Must have records that demonstrate that the importer is claiming that the article qualifies for duty-free treatment because it is the growth of a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or because it is the product of a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or because it is the manufacture of a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country. If the importer is claiming that the article is the growth of a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, the importer must have records that indicate that the product was grown in that country, such as a record of receipt from a farmer whose crops are grown in that country. If the importer is claiming that the article is the product of, or the manufacture of, a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, the importer must have records that indicate that the manufacturing or processing operations reflected in or applied to the article meet the country of origin rules set forth in §10.176(a) and paragraph (d) of this section. A properly completed GSP declaration in the form set forth in §10.173(a)(1) is one example of a record that would serve this purpose;

(3) Must establish and implement internal controls which provide for the periodic review of the accuracy of the declarations or other records referred to in paragraph (e)(2) of this section;

(4) Must have shipping papers that show how the article moved from the beneficiary sub-Saharan African country to the United States. If the imported article was shipped through a country other than a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country and the invoices and other documents from the beneficiary sub-Saharan African country do not show the United States as the final destination, the importer also must have documentation that demonstrates that the conditions set forth in §10.175(d)(1) through (3) were met;

(5) Must have records that demonstrate the cost or value of the materials produced in the United States and the cost or value of the materials produced in a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or countries and the direct costs of processing operations incurred in the beneficiary sub-Saharan African country that were relied upon by the importer to determine that the article met the 35 percent value content requirement set forth in §10.176(a) and paragraph (c) of this section. A properly completed GSP declaration in the form set forth in §10.173(a)(1) is one example of a record that would serve this purpose; and

(6) Must be prepared to produce the records referred to in paragraphs (e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(4), and (e)(5) of this section within 30 days of a request from Customs and must be prepared to explain how those records and the internal controls referred to in paragraph (e)(3) of this section justify the importer’s claim for duty-free treatment.

[T.D. 00-67, 65 FR 59675, Oct. 5, 2000, as amended by CBP Dec. 14-07, 79 FR 30392, May 27, 2014]


 

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