Historically, importers have used various post-importation mechanisms to claim duty preferences under various free trade agreements, trade preference legislation, and certain tariff provisions in Chapter 98, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. These mechanisms include Post Entry Amendments (PEAs), Post Summary Corrections (PSCs), protests under 19 USC §1514 and post-importation claims under 19 USC§1520(d).
On August 11, 2014, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued guidance specifying that when the implementing legislation for several preference programs specifically provides for post-importation claims, set forth in 19 USC §1520(d), such claims are the only appropriate mechanism to seek preference when not claimed at the time of entry.
Further, in the guidance CBP determined that if a preference program did not have a statutory post-importation mechanism, referenced in 19 USC §1520(d), importers were precluded from claiming post-importation duty preferences through protests under 19 USC §1514.2. Therefore, CBP instructed ports to reject as non-protestable any initial preference claims made under 19 USC §1514. Through the guidance below, CBP now amends that memorandum.
Pursuant to the earlier-referenced decision by the Court of International Trade,3 for those preference programs that do not specifically provide for claims under the statutory post importation mechanism of 19 USC §1520(d), CBP will permit use of the protest mechanism set forth in 19 USC §1514 to submit initial post-importation preference claims. CBP will continue to allow un-liquidated entries to be amended by filing a PEA or PSC prior to liquidation in accordance with current PEA and PSC procedures.
For preference programs that by law have a post-importation provision, a 1520(d) post importation claim remains the only appropriate mechanism to seek preference when not claimed at the time of importation.
For clarity and ease of reference, below is a table of the existing preference programs and the method by which a claim may now be made after importation.
19 USC §1520(d)
19 USC §1514, PEA or PSC
Civil Aircraft Agreement
Uruguay Round Concession on Intermediate
Chemicals for Dyes
19 USC §1514 Claims Rejected as Non-Protestable:
In compliance with the now-amended memorandum, dated August 11, 2014, ports may have rejected as non-protestable (rather than denied) initial post-importation preference claims made under 19 USC §1514. Pursuant to the decision by the Court of International Trade in Zojirushi America Corp. v. U.S., in order to assist CBP in processing protests previously rejected as non protestable, importers are requested to resubmit their protests to the appropriate field offices within 180 days of the issuance of this guidance.
Updates: The Office of Trade will be revising all internal and external guidelines applicable to preference programs to permit filing of claims under 19 USC §1514. This memorandum supersedes any conflicting guidance previously published, including, but not limited to, the now amended memorandum, dated August 11, 2014, implementing instructions for free trade agreements, the FTA Guidelines, and the Side-by-Side Comparison of Free Trade Agreements and Selected Preferential Trade Legislation Programs.
If there are any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact Textiles and Trade Agreements Division via email at email@example.com.