Market Letters

International CHB Update – Week 45, 2020

Urgent Revisions to GSP

Generalized System of Preferences, known as GSP, is in place to allow preferential trade status of certain commodities from beneficiary countries. This allows these goods to enter the US with lesser duties, or even duty free. The program is evaluated and adjusted by country on an annual basis and expires if not renewed.


By Presidential Proclamation posted in the Federal Register on 11/3, many changes were made to GSP for goods with Country of Origin Thailand. Two thirds of the HTS codes listed for special treatment were removed from the preferential trade status list. As of December 30, 2020, goods entered for consumption under these specified HTS codes will no longer receive duty free status, and base duty rates will once again be applicable.

Indonesia, Brazil, Ecuador

GSP remains largely the same for Indonesia, Brazil, and Ecuador, with only a few small changes to specific HTS codes. Some Competitive Need Limitations have also been adjusted.

Section 301 Litigation Update

A case has been presented to the Court of International Trade (CIT) questioning the legality of the implementation of Section 301 duties on List 3 and List 4A. Impacted importers had the opportunity to file suit in September of this year. Some trade attorneys and industry guidance are advising that importers can still join the litigation on a rolling basis, if they haven’t already.

There has been a lot of discussion about ‘what’s next’. What additional actions should companies take to ensure the highest probability of a duty refund if the litigation is successful?

At Laufer Group, we stay engaged with brokerage and freight partners, industry colleagues, US Customs officials, and trade attorneys. This topic has many in the trade community seeking more information to be able to advise and enact best practices – in a largely unprecedented scenario.

What Should Importers Be Doing?

Seek the advice of your trade attorney and have thorough discussions to reach the best decision for your business. Here are some options we’ve seen for a path forward:

  • Leave the filed entries as-is and wait for the litigation outcome (which could take 1-3 years)
  • File protests for all past liquidated entries affected by Section 301 List 3 and 4A
  • File protest on impacted entries as they continue to liquidate while the litigation is open

Laufer Group can file protests on all applicable entries, including those that may have been originally filed with another US Customs broker.

For over 70 years, Laufer Group International Ltd. has been helping customers improve the way they handle their logistics. To see how we can help, or for any questions, contact Ashley Coxey, National Director of Business Development, Customs Brokerage or contact your local sales representative.