Changes in Matters Subject to Protest

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently issued a memorandum providing new guidance regarding acceptable mechanisms for submission of post-importation preference claims (Post-Entry Amendments (PEAs), Post Summary Corrections (PSCs), protests in 19 USC 1514 and post-importation claims in 19 USC 1520(d)). The agency has eliminated the use of protests as a mechanism to file post-entry claims for free trade agreement and preferential tariff program benefits to align its policy with a 2012 ruling. Failure to claim an FTA preference timely does not give rise to a right to protest it has been held, so correspondingly importers cannot use the protest mechanism to submit initial claims. Protests filed which are initial preference claims will be rejected by indicating “rejected as non-protestable” in block 18 of CBP Form 19. Amendments filed after liquidation will not be treated as protests under 19 USC 1514 and will not be considered evidence giving rise to the right to reliquidation.

For preference programs that provide for a post-importation provision within the statute, now a 1520(d) post-importation claim is the only mechanism via which to seek preference after entry.

For those preference programs that do not specifically provide for post-importation claims under 19 USC 1520(d), CBP will continue to allow unliquidated entries to be amended by filing a PEA or PSC prior to liquidation in accordance with current PEA and PSC procedures.

This is the implementation of Headquarters ruling H193959 dated July 30, 2012 wherein CBP interpreted that the trade agreement with Singapore to require the claim for preferential tariff treatment be made at the time of filing the entry summary. It barred the making of a claim thereafter, citing rulings of the Court of International Trade.

The memorandum subject of this post can be found here: CSMS MESSAGE: Post-Importation Claims for Preferential Tariff Treatment


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